It’s awfully close to Christmas – which means it’s time to make some whipped shortbread cookies! Anyone ready? Or is everyone else as shocked as I am that it’s already December, let alone the 8th? Honestly I feel old just typing this, but seriously is time ever flying! Whatever, I am old, it’s all good. I’m allowed to think that time goes too quickly!
Maybe it has something to do with having kids, because I swear that time has been speeding up exponentially ever since they arrived. Or maybe I’ve just been really tired and busy since then! Possibly.
I absolutely love Christmas baking. The only problem as the years pass, is that I am starting to have too many favourites! We have to pick and choose every year now. Especially since I DO love to bake, and there’s all my childhood favourites, all my husbands childhood favourites, and I have this need to try new things every year too! That makes for FAR too many cookies. So not everything gets made, or we’d have Christmas baking in the freezer all year long.
But these whipped shortbread cookies get made every single year. Without fail. They’re my absolute favourite Christmas cookie. And, oddly enough, even though it’s my mom’s recipe, it’s virtually identical to the one my mother-in-law makes. So it’s on both mine and my husband’s list!
Whipped shortbread were the only cookie that my whole family would always make together every year when I was growing up. I think we’d usually make a double or triple batch because they were everyone’s favourite!
We’d all have jobs. Dad would mix the dough and roll it into little balls, I’d press each one down with a fork, and my sister and brother would stick the cherries on top. I figured I had the best job cause I never liked touching the sticky cherries! My son agrees with me on that and won’t help with that part! Evidently my mom got stuck with cleanup? I don’t remember. But I do remember that making whipped shortbread equated to Christmas being just around the corner.
And it kind of still does. It’s the first cookie I make every year. Sometimes with the kids, sometimes not, but as they get older, I think that this one may be one we make together every year. That would be a fun tradition to continue, although maybe I’ll mix up the dough and stick my husband with the cleanup!
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup corn starch
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 15 candied cherries
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the candied cherries in half. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the corn starch, flour, powdered sugar, and vanilla, and whip until light and fluffy.
- Roll the dough into small balls, about 1 tablespoon each, and place them about 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Dip a fork into a small bowl of flour and press the cookies down with it to flatten them. Make sure to dip the fork into the flour and shake off the excess before flattening each cookie so that it doesn’t stick. Place half a cherry in the middle of each cookie, pressing it down lightly.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 7 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.