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These are the Best Butter Shortbread Cookies! They are deliciously crisp and rich, just like the classic Danish butter cookies that come in the blue tin. A fresh batch of these is especially wonderful for Christmas and holiday baking. The dough is easy to make using five simple, natural ingredients.
There are all sorts of stunts out there with dessert, busy concoctions like Monster Cookies or these White Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies, but it’s hard to beat classic, butter shortbread.
These are reminiscent of the Danish butter cookies that come in those blue tins around Christmas time. I have such a nostalgia for those, as they always appeared in our pantry during the holidays of my childhood.
What’s most funny about those blue tin cookies is there are always several different types, but it’s all the same dough, just baked in different shapes. It really shows how much the shape and texture of the cookie can change the experience.
The circular swirls were always my favorite kind in the tin, so that’s how I pipe these, but you can do whatever shape you prefer. You can also have success rolling the dough out and cutting shapes with cookie cutters, or simply doing a “slice and bake” by shaping the dough into a cylinder or log.
1 cup salted butter at room temperature (8 ounces)*
1 cup confectioner’s sugar (4 ounces by weight)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour (10 ounces by weight)
1 tbsp milk**
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the butter, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla in a large bowl, and beat with an electric mixer until combined, light, and fluffy.
Add the flour and mix until it’s crumbly and looks like it can’t be mixed more.
Add the milk and keep mixing. The dough should clump together after about 15 seconds.
Place the dough into a pastry bag fitted with a very large star tip, and pipe onto a silicone mat lined baking sheet, with no more than 12 cookies per sheet.
Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
Let them cool completely (on the tray is fine)***, and enjoy!