Okay..so I discovered these cookies via Tastespotting, and the woman who posted them had such a rockin' picture of them, I HAD to make them. And I decided to make them this weekend as a "trial" for whether or not I'd make them for Christmas.
Thank goodness I did. If I'd have had this much trouble with them while baking a dozen other kinds of cookies, I'd have had a meltdown.
Mine did not come out nearly as cute as Elle's. She does warn in her post that if you work the dough too long, it'll turn pink from the sprinkles. I was aware of this.
But if I HADN'T worked the dough that long, it would've remained in crumb form, rather than ball form as requested. It fought me on being a 'ball' right down to the end, to be honest.
I don't know -- was it the temperature of my butter? I used cold butter, like I always do for shortbread.
The only thing I can come up with is -- I don't have a food processor. Maybe it really does help this recipe come together??
Regardless...I don't think I want to fuss with this one again for Christmas.
Elfin Shortbread Cookies
1 1/4 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 TB red and green sprinkles
- If using a food processor:
- Pulse the flour and sugar until blended.
- Add in the butter until it all resembles fine crumbs
- Add the sprinkles and pulse just until the dough starts to come together. (Don't overdo it, or the dough will turn pink from the red sprinkles like mine)
- Remove to a lightly floured surface and knead a few times until the dough forms a ball.
- Pat the dough out into an 8x5 inch rectangle on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Cut the dough into 1/2 inch squares, and separate them on the baking sheet. (A bench scraper works really well for cutting them.)
- If you're not using a food processor:
- Mix the flour and sugar in a medium bowl.
- Cut in the butter until you get fine crumbs, stir in the sprinkles and knead until smooth.
- Continue with cutting and baking the cookies
- Bake at 325 degrees F for 12-14 minutes, and then transfer the cookies on the parchment to a cooling rack.
- Store in a tightly covered container at room temp for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.
-This is supposed to make about 160 little cookies, but neither Elle nor I got that many!
And sorry for all of the really bad pictures lately -- our new kitchen has terrible picture lighting! I guess I'm going to have to make a lightbox after all.