Nothing melts in your mouth like Whipped Shortbread Cookies!
My Mom always made whipped shortbread cookies. She had an aluminum cookie press that would scooch our Christmas trees, wreaths and bells. I have tried several cookie presses but never found one that worked as well as hers.
So... I have moved to piping them with a pastry bag. I think this dough would work just as well with a cookie press if you have one you like.
Some people swear salted butter is the secret weapon in their shortbread while others are horrified by the savoury hint. I like it both ways so I make some of each!
In tribute to my Mom I decided to take my whipped cookies up a notch from the piped round stream. I used a special tip that is actually for a flower but I thought it looked like a snowflake framed in more shortbread. I also used a large tip for leaves that I piped out to about 2 inches in length.
I used food colour gel that I have on hand for colouring macarons. You can use a liquid food colouring if you like since the texture here will withstand the tiny bit of liquid you are going to need. Either way - DO NOT ADD TOO MUCH FOOD COLOUR at the beginning. There really is no going back unless you decide to make a second batch of dough to dilute the colour. For the gel I started with a toothpick dipped in the gel and then I swirled it in the batter. I may have taken a couple of passes but do not start with anything near a percentage of a teaspoon either way. I would suggest the dipped toothpick approach to the liquid gel as well. You can always add more as needed. Also note that the colour will deepen slightly when the cookies bake.
You can certainly leave them plain colour. You can dust them with icing sugar or not. They are delicious with or without the icing sugar. I did it because I thought the icing sugar would be reminiscent of a light dusting of snow.
Baking- watch the carefully. You don't want the cookie to turn brown. You may get some slight browning on the edge by the time the middle of the cookie is set. If you know your oven to run a bit hot (or in any case) watch them carefully toward the end of the cook time.
Whipped Shortbread Cookies make a welcome addition to any Christmas cookie platter (or anytime for that matter).
Theyse cookies will store nicely in an airtight container in a cool spot for a couple of weeks. They also freeze beautifully. Just handle them carefully since the dough is delicate. Separate layers of cookies with parchment paper when storing.
Whipped Shortbread Cookies
- Piping bag and nozzle of your choice
- 3 ½ cup all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter very soft room temperature *can substitute salted butter but omit ¾ teaspoon salt above
- ¾ cup icing sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- food colouring optional
- icing sugar for dusting optional
- Preheat oven to 325°. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone.
- Whisk flour, cornstarch and salt (is using) in a bowl.
- Beat butter and sugar in a separate bowl. Beat in the milk and vanilla.
- Beat in flour mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. If using food colouring, add in a tiny, tiny bit and mix in evenly. Add more until you get the desired shade.
- Attach piping nozzle of your choice to your pastry bag. Turn a couple of inches of the top cuff down and stand the bag up, nozzle down, in a deep cup. Add half the dough to the pastry bag. Tightly squeeze the top of the bag shut.
- Pipe batter in 1 ½ " circles about 1" apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake cookies 15 minutes. Check - edges should not be brown but may have just a hint of colour.While first sheet is baking, pipe the remaining batter on the 2nd baking sheet.
- Allow cooked cookies to cool about 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to finish cooling. Handle gently as cookies will be fragile until fully cooled.
- If desired, seive icing sugar over completely cooled cookies.