My last post mentioned some of the favourite Christmas cookies baked in my home when I was growing up. A reader asked what Whipped Shortbread was, so I just couldn’t resist whipping up a batch, providing the recipe below!
Traditional shortbread recipes have brown sugar in them. The cookies are buttery, sugary, and (sometimes described as) dry. Whipped shortbread recipes tend to use icing sugar (or confectioners sugar) instead of the brown sugar. The butter is still there, but this recipe does what its name requires of it–whipping the sugar and butter together until fluffy. Traditional shortbreads are rolled and cut; whipped shortbreads must be either spooned carefully onto a baking sheet or created using a cookie press. I invested in a cookie press with an assortment of tips and attachments years ago, and I enjoy making whipped shortbread cookies with this. Obligatory as a finishing touch is a small piece of maraschino cherry to brighten the cookie up and provide an interesting flavour and texture mix. They’re melt-in-your-mouth good!
Whipped Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter or margarine, softened (I do recommend butter for its distinct flavour)
1 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose works very well, if you have cake flour handy this makes the cookie more fluffy!)
1/2 cup icing or confectioners sugar
diced maraschino cherries for garnish
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Combine butter, flour, and sugar in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until very light and fluffy (the more air incorporated, the better…usually a good 5-10 minutes of effort needed!). Use a cookie press to place individual cookies on cookie sheets. Cookies will spread to approximately double their size while baking, so leave enough room between cookies to ensure cookies do not touch and stick together during the baking process. Place one piece of maraschino cherry onto centre of each cookie. If you get really creative, a larger red maraschino in the centre with two small narrow green pieces can look like a Christmasy poinsettia! Bake for approximately 17 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove, let cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet, then transfer to cooling racks. Don’t leave cookies to cool on the pan, they will stick!