These Butter Shortbread Cookies are the easiest, most flavorful shortbread cookies we’ve had the joy of making. They’re melt-in-your-mouth tender, with just the right amount of crispy bite. They’re great for freezing or gifting.We’re neck deep in cookies all over our kitchen and will hopefully continue the trend in the next couple of days. When there are Littles at home and they have friends, sometimes they all come swarming…and cookies disappear in nanoseconds.
We had such fun over the weekend celebrating the holidays early with some family and friends. Dozens of kids included, half of which were unapologetically hungry teens. Translation: tables full of food and counters teeming with treats to satisfy those not-so-little-anymore Littles. Enter these butter shortbread cookies.
2 cups salted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 cup packed light brown sugar
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour, divided
Optional: Your favorite sprinkles
Preheat oven to 325F, with rack on lower middle position. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, add butter and brown sugar. Using paddle attachment on medium-high speed, mix until fluffy and light, several minutes. Add only 3 1/2 cups of the flour and mix on medium-low speed until combined.
On a large board, sprinkle 1/2 cup flour to keep dough from sticking to the board. Use rubber spatula to transfer dough to the board. Knead dough by hand for 5 minutes, adding only as much of the remaining 1/2 cup flour as needed to make a soft dough, while continuing to knead by hand. The dough should end up soft and pliable, similar to play-dough, not sticky. Work in desired amount of sprinkles, if using. (Important Note: You may not end up using all the flour, depending on how your dough feels; it’s important to stop adding flour as soon as your dough feels like soft play dough.)
Divide dough into thirds, wrap tightly, and chill for at least 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll and cut shapes. Roll one-third of the dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness (lightly flour board if needed.)
Either cut into 3×1 rectangular strips, triangles, or use cookie cutter for shapes. Place each cookie 2 inches apart on baking sheet. Poke cookies with fork to design if not using sprinkles.
Bake 15-20 minutes, or until edges are golden brown. If your shapes are smaller, bake less time. Bake longer for bigger shapes. Repeat with the remaining dough, working in batches so dough stays chilled and workable.
Cool completely on wire rack before serving. Cookies keep very when sealed airtight, at room temp.