Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas Shortbread Cookies

Shortbread cookies and Christmas - the two go together without saying, right? In my family, this recipe has been passed down for generations, via my maternal grandfather's family. It's a recipe that is dear to my mom's heart, because it comes with some special memories of her grandma, Grace Bowen Winger. My mom writes: "For years, Grandma would wrap up 1/2-dozen of these cookies for each of her grandchildren, which numbered about 30. She had no money to buy gifts, and often apologized for that fact when she handed out these cookies and her hugs. I only wish she had known how loved she was and how we’d like to have those hugs again, along with the cookies."

So, these shortbread cookies endure, and always will - even if I have to start baking them myself (the horror!) Thank God my mom has taken that torch and continues to run with it. They're still even made with the very same tin cookie cutter that is older than I am - I don't think I could have them in any other shape (certainly they would taste different!).

Shortbread Cookies
By Grace Bowen Winger
Contributed by Judy Angell
  • 1 rounded cup sugar
  • 1 pound of butter
  • 5 cups flour

Cream butter and sugar. Gradually add flour; the last cup should be worked in by hand. Knead dough until pliable. Roll out using wax paper over the dough; use cookie cutters to cut into shapes. Place on baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. (Note: my mom, as per the family tradition, makes these cookies anywhere from 2-3 weeks prior to Christmas and stores them in tins lined with wax paper. The extra time ages the cookies and allows the buttery flavor to fully develop.)

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