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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Star Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread Cookies are traditional Christmas cookies. The simplicity of the recipe appeals to me. Few ingredients and easy to make. Also they are so soft they could just melt in your mouth. So that gives me a good reason to bake them around Christmas. But these cookies you could eat any time of the year, especially in our house. Since I make Heart Shortbread cookies for Valentine's day. I make Star Shortbread cookies for Christmas. But when it comes to these cookies you could just be limited by your imagination.

On this sweet note , Wishing Everyone Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

Ingredients :

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

** Adding cornstarch to this recipe makes these cookies more tender and melt in your mouth soft. Also I did take the liberty of checking out the reason why. Here it goes- Adding cornstarch lowers the gluten content of the dough and this makes these cookies a little more soft.

Preparation :

  1. PreHeat the Oven to 325 degress F.
  2. Line the baking sheets with Parchment paper.
  3. Sift the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt into a bowl and keep aside.
  4. Now in a large bowl, beat the butter, powdered sugar and Vanilla until creamy and smooth for a minute. ( I do it by hand but you could use an electric mixer on medium speed).
  5. Now slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture. Keep mixing till the flour mixture is well incorporated and it forms large clumps. Knead it into a dough.
  6. Flatten the dough into a disk shape. Depending upon the counter space you have t0 roll the dough, feel free to divide the dough into 2 or 4 disk shapes.
  7. Lightly flour the rolling surface and rolling pin. Roll the disk to a 1/4 inch thickness. Using a star shaped cookie cutter ,cut out the stars.
  8. Carefully transfer them to the prepared baking sheets and space them about 1 inch apart
  9. Bake them for about 18 - 20 minutes or until the cookies are lightly brown .
  10. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then carefully transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. This recipe makes about 30 shortbread cookies. You could store them at room temperature in a tightly covered container for up to 4 days. They could also be frozen and they are good for several months.

Classic Chocolate Chip cookies

These cookies never get old. We are having a Winter Celebration in my son's school today. He had offered to take some home made cookies. According to him since I have a food blog now.. I can cook or bake anything. It does'nt take much to impress little kids. After giving him many choices he came up with " How about Chocolate Chip Cookies".. So Chocolate Chip Cookies It is ..

Ingredients :
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups Hershey's Milk Chocolate chips
  • 1 cup(2 sticks) butter , softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
Preparation :
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown Sugar and Vanilla in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs, beat well. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt, add this gradually to the butter mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Drop by teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
  4. Cool slightly. Remove from the cookies sheet to the wire rack and allow to cool completely.
    *** This Recipe is on the back cover of the Hershey's Milk Chocolate Chips (1 lb) package.