There is something you need to know about me.
I'm not sure that I've ever met a cookie I didn't like.
Cakes I can pass by. Pies...I'm very picky. Rich chocolate mousse-like dessert? No thank you.
But a cookie? A homemade, warm, just out of the oven cookie?
Yes, please! I'll have just one. Or six. Or maybe an even dozen just to be safe.
Aaack! I love cookies! They are my Kryptonite!
Sam once said to me "Mom, you bake the most amazing cookies! And you always say that you love to bake. Why don't you bake them more often?"
"Because I love cookies, Sam. Because I love them. That's why."
Of all the cookies in the world, I think the shortbread cookie comes closest to perfection. Four ingredients. Simple and melt in your mouth goodness.
Last year, after Christmas, my sweet Mom snagged the deal of the post-holiday season. She found a Nordicware shortbread cookie pan with a Snowflake motif, on clearance at Target, for some ridiculously cheap price like $2. She bought two, God bless her, and she gave one to me. I loved that pan so much!
Last week, I happened to be at a fancy mall (Oak Brook) that had a Sur La Table store, and I found a non-holiday/traditionally themed shortbread pan from Nordicware. I did not pay $2 for it. I'm not even going to tell you how much I spent on it. I had to have it, so I paid what they were asking, end of story.
The recipe is so simple. Press the dough into the greased pan (I greased mine with butter), bake and then let cool, and turn it over onto a cutting surface. I turned mine onto a pizza stone and used the pizza cutter to cut into nine squares. Yes, the recipe only makes nine cookies, but they are big cookies. And they are special. I think they'd make a lovely gift, too.
I've tweaked the recipe and made it my own. I think you can also fancy this one up, and I've included instructions for that as well:
Perfect Shortbread Cookie
3/4 c. (that's one and a half sticks) of butter
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. flour
Cream butter until fluffy. Add in powdered sugar and then vanilla. Add in flour. Then knead dough on a non-floured surface. Form dough into ball and wrap in Saran wrap. Place in fridge for about 20-30 minutes. Then press dough into greased pan. Prick surface with fork and bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes until golden. Let cool for 10 minutes in pan, then turn over onto cutting surface. Cut in squares and enjoy!
For extra fancy cookie, melt semi-sweet chocolate chips in microwave (app. 1 cup) with 1 T. salted butter until smooth, stirring often. Turn cookie over to non-decorative side and spread on chocolate. Place on a pan covered with wax paper, chocolate side up. Then sprinkle chocolate with finely chopped pecans. Place cookies on sheet in freezer for 10-15 minutes, or until chocolate has set. Remove from freezer and enjoy!
Coffee and shortbread cookie...the perfect pair!