Cookies are probably one of the most liked small-bites of all times. The choice of combinations and flavors available nowadays are endless. There are cripsy ones, chewy ones, thick ones, thin ones, plain ones, filled cookies and any kind you can think about! But there is nothing more appreciated than home-baked cookies, probably because, half of the taste of a food is in its smell. Taking a bite out of the home-baked cookies in a room permeated with the smell of baked cookies is priceless and is something that cannot be bought. The best thing about cookies is that they can be stored for days, weeks or even months (if at all there is anything left after the first day !!). Shortbread cookies are the best start for a novice baker since they are very simple. And needless to say, they taste wonderful !! Once again, I was in the mood for baking and made about two dozen small cookies and decorated them with chocolate and chopped nuts. Happy baking !!
Recipe (About two dozen cookies):
Butter or margarine - 3/4 cup, softened
Sugar - 1/4 cup
All-purpose flour - 1 and 3/4 cup
Almond extract - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with a spoon.
Stir in flour and almond extract. ( If dough is crumbly, mix in additional 1-2 tbsp softened butter or margarine).
On lightly floured surface, roll dough into 9" by 6" rectangle, about 1/2" thick.
Cut into 1 1/2" squares with a knife or cut into 1 1/2"cookie cutters.
Place the squares or shapes about 1" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until set.
Remove from the cookie sheet to wire rack.
Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
Source: Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook.
- I substituted almond extract with vanilla.
- The pictured cookies were decorated with dark and white chocolate and chopped nuts.