I have a dear friend who shared this recipe with me roughly 20 years ago. It is old, simple, and has 6 ingredients; a reflection of less complicated and sophisticated times in our culture.
Don’t be fooled. This tiny little cookie is amazing, and has taught us a couple of great lessons during the holiday season.
First off, it is not shortbread, but rather more like butter in cookie form!
Let’s start with the ingredients, okay?
1 pound butter
2 cups powdered sugar
2 egg yolks
4 cups flour
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
Mix all ingredients except flour and salt and mix until light and fluffy. Add flour and salt and mix well until smooth and fine in texture. Refrigerate at least 4 hours, but it is better if you can wait 1 day to 1 week. To bake, pinch off the size of a marble and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Press in criss-cross pattern with a fork.
Sprinkle with colored sugar that is appropriate for the holiday being celebrated.
Bake 10 minutes at 350 degrees or until slightly golden on the edges.
Keep in an airtight container.
The takeaways…because I guarantee you, once people taste these, it won’t be the cookies!
I keep the dough in an airtight container as well. It has so much butter in it, it will absorb any strong odors from the refrigerator. Bummer. Also, I have never had great success with baking them after refrigeration for a time frame of less than one day. The dough just gets better with age!
They can’t be bigger than a marble. The texture just isn’t as good, the flavor is altered…it’s weird, I know.
Because this part of the process is tedious (on an air bake sheet, you can often get up to 100 cookies!), you definitely have time to take a little breather from the frantic pace. I usually sit at the table and talk with one or more of my kids while working on this. It’s a great time to pause and reflect not only on the season, but on what is going on in other people’s hearts and lives.
You get a ton of cookies from one batch! But if you’re taking them to an exchange, it really is only fair to plan enough for people to take two to one.
I hope you enjoy these little treasures as much as we do! In order to prep for this, I obviously made a batch early. My boys were ecstatic! The batch lasted roughly 5 minutes!
You can easily make them for holidays year round by simply changing the sugar color.
The size of the cookie has nothing to do with its importance to our family culture and the significant place that they hold there.
This post is a part of the series A Cookie A Day Until Christmas.
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Teri is a believer in God, Family, and Community, and Lover of Leadership Education The Thomas Jefferson way. Teri writes and also speaks about lessons learned on her educational journey with 5 rambunctious sons, ages 24 down to 11, one Hero Hubby, and celebrating day to day life with lots of humor, within the human race. Find Teri blogging at Tommy Mom | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest.
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