Snowflake-Stenciled Shortbread Cookies

To make these cookies chocolate, use 1/3 cup cocoa powder for 1/3 cup flour and add 6 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate to the dough.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Yield: Makes 24
Snowflake-Stenciled Shortbread Cookies

Source: Everyday Food, December 2010

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/3 cup coarse or sanding sugar (optional), for decorating

Directions

  1. In a food processor, combine butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt; process until smooth. Add flour and pulse just until combined. Form dough into an 8-inch-long round or square log; wrap tightly in plastic and freeze until firm, 30 minutes (or up to 1 month).

  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Cut dough into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Dip edges in sugar if desired and transfer to two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are golden brown around edges, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cookies cool 5 minutes on sheets. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

  3. To decorate: On desired paper, draw shape (use a cutter as a guide). Fold paper in half and cut out shape, leaving border intact.

  4. Lay either stencil on cookie. With a fine-mesh sieve, dust cookie with confectioners' sugar or cocoa powder.

  5. Carefully lift off stencil.

Cook's Notes

To store undecorated cookies, wrap them tightly with plastic and keep at room temperature, up to 1 week.

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