"This is a journey of my life since I was all of 12 yrs when I started my hand in cooking to now with displays of my learning and creations of recipes from around the world. My inspiration and role model has always been my Mum who has always created dishes from around the world and excellently well. I do not believe I would ever match to her culinary skills. I remember the times she could cook and bake almost 4-5 dishes in one go without ever letting one go under cooked or burnt! I was born and raised in Dubai, UAE and recently moved to India for family reasons. Kitchenette just means that over the decades, my kitchen has changed from that of my mum's to my uncle and aunt's, to my home in UAE and now in India. Pala't'te, describes both global cuisines ('Palatte'-diverse flavours) and pleasing diverse 'Palates'."

Friday, 21 December 2012

Christmas Shortbread Cookies

With a school going toddler who is completely excited by the idea of Christmas - Santa, Carols, Christmas trees, stars....cookies, cakes...and more, you know you have to be at your best in making Christmas treats. Tomorrow is Izzy's Christmas Class Party. I was always planning to bake a cake and Christmas cookies for her class and staff with or without a party. So I was glad to know today that they have a Christmas class party tomorrow.

These shortbread cookies are so super simple and I got an excellent batch, which were pre-tested by my husband and my excited toddler. I was a bit worried that I would find the cookie jar empty by the time I was done making the batches of these cookies.

Now I normally used to make these cookies as a slightly wet mix, so I have never owned a cookie cutter. With  a toddler around, like I mentioned earlier, you just have to be on your best creative behaviour. I found a handy star shaped Fisher Price block in my little one's play pen. After cleaning and drying it, it became the Christmas Star! Problem solved!

Christmas Star Shortbread Cookies

You need:

  • 250 gms of salted butter
  • 500 gms of flour
  • 125 gms of icing sugar or castor sugar
  • 125 gms of cornstarch

The make:

Preparation Time: 30 minutes | Cooking Time: 30 minutes | Makes 30-40 cookies (depending on the cookie size)

1.  Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and knead well using your fist and knuckles until the mixture holds well together. Continue kneading and folding in until the dough cracks. Tip: Unless you knead well, the dough will not hold together for the next step (rolling process)
2. Gently roll the dough evenly till it is thin enough however not wafer-thin. Tip:Make sure you maintain the same thickness for each roll-out process as some of the cookies may cook faster than the others.
3. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters of your choice and toss the extra dough back in the bowl with the remaining dough. Repeat this process till all of the dough in the bowl is used.
Cookie dough cut and ready to be baked

4. Preheat an oven to 250C for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to 180C. Place the cookies onto a butter paper or  cookie sheet  and carefully place in the oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes in batches as required. Remember that each subsequent batch would need lesser time in the oven than the first. I took the first batch in for the whole 10 minutes, the second batch took about 7 minutes and the third 5 minutes.
5. You can decorate them as desired. I planned on icing the class kids' names however the cookie's were too small for the precious little ones' names. Maybe in my next attempt, after I invest in larger cookie cutters! I did hand cut a heart for my munchkin and she was particularly pleased as she knows it was a special heart among the stars! I got a nice big thank you, hug followed by rains of kisses!

Merry Christmas darling little ones!

**New: Since my little one enjoyed these cookies so much over Christmas, I decided to bake them with one of her favourite flavours, Chocolate! I made chocolate Shortbread Cookies for her birthday and sent them to school which was again well-received! I wanted to share some pictures with you of the same. Additionally (to the above ingredients), add 100 gms of cocoa powder (sweetened is better if it is for the little ones)

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