Have you started your holiday cookie baking yet? Around these parts, we are baking up batches upon batches of holiday sweets. Classic gingerbread, candy cane twists, and a simplest holiday treat ever: Star of Wonder Shortbread Cookies with a sparkly peppermint glaze! Have you ever made shortbread? It’s astonishingly easy. Classic shortbread is just three ingredients, flour, sugar, and lots and lots of butter. This cookie mixes together and rolls out in a snap, far less fussy than a traditional sugar cookie with all the melt-in-your-mouth buttery goodness. These cookies are less sweet than most cookies but are pulled together with a classic glaze; we used peppermint extract for all the holiday feels, but the flavorings could easily be swapped out with lemon, cinnamon, almond, or vanilla to suit the occasion.
Last Christmas I teamed up with the folks at Bakell to make these dreamy treats. I am putting them here because they are officially a Christmas tradition now that I've made them a second year. I hope we return to time and time again. I used my favorite star cookie cutters and a bit of Tinker Dust to make these cookies, all while humming along to the best Christmas tunes! After whipping the glaze together, we dipped the cookie into the glaze rather than piping it on, sprinkling Tinker Dust with each dozen. This process was super simple, making glazing four dozen cookies a short 20-minute process. It’s a good thing, too; there’s no way you’ll be able to stop from eating two or more at a time. They’ll be gone almost as quickly as the time it takes to make them! Sorry Santa, we ate your cookies!
Star of Wonder Shortbread Cookies
(makes about 4 dozen 2-inch cookies)
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened & at room temperature
2 cups flour
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
4 tablespoons water
Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour a little at a time, incorporating well between each addition. If the mixture is too crumbly, add cold water 1 teaspoon at a time until the dough pulls together without being sticky. Chill for one hour.
Allow dough to sit for 20 minutes at room temperature, then roll out using a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface, to a half an inch thick. Cut using our star cutter or into any small shape. Place ½ inch apart on baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes, until set & the edges are just starting to turn golden brown. Immediately remove from baking sheet and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
To glaze cooled cookies, mix confectioner’s sugar, peppermint extract, and water until completely incorporated. Glaze should create a thin ribbon but not be too runny. If it is too runny, slowly add more sugar one tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. If too thick, add water ½ tablespoon at a time. To glaze, grip edges of cookie with clean fingertips and dip the cookie face down into the icing. Allow excess glaze to drip off and flip over. Sprinkle with Tinker Dust and allow icing to set, about two hours, before storing. Store in an airtight container for two weeks, that is, if they last that long.