Every December for as far back as my memory stretches, Mom’s house has been filled with the tempting aroma of Christmas baking. From her warm, cosy kitchen she faithfully and generously produced a bounty of sweet, delectable treats to be served at holiday parties, distributed to carolers at the front door, or wrapped and ribboned and given as gifts. (And yes, we managed to sneak some as well!) Fudge! Peanut brittle! Squares! A thousand types of cookies! Fruitcake! (OK, that one I’ve NEVER liked, no matter WHO makes it – but still, it’s festive and pretty!)
One of the holiday delights I particularly looked forward to every year – and still do, even now – was Mom’s Whipped Shortbread Cookies. Each morsel is buttery, sweet (but not too sweet), melt-in-your-mouth goodness… and Christmas wouldn’t quite feel like Christmas without them.
This year, scheduled to bring dessert to an upcoming potluck party, I decided to tackle them myself for the first time… and (with Mom’s blessing) share the recipe so that you too can experience their wonder.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
Note that in order to make the 8 – 9 dozen cookies indicated on the recipe, each cookie would have to be TINY. I mean, bite-sized. I didn’t think my cookies were all that big, yet my batch of dough yielded less than 5 dozen (57 cookies, to be exact). Even Mom says she’s never managed to make the full amount. So govern yourself accordingly!
Not having the most pristine cookie sheets in the world, I opted to line them with parchment paper – and ended up adding that option to the recipe, as it worked out very well. As the cookies spread a little while baking, be sure to allow enough space between them on the cookie sheet.
In my oven they took slightly less than the prescribed 15 minutes to bake, so watch that they don’t brown too much.
My only frustration was with my pathetically wimpy mixer (what I wouldn’t give for a really good one!), because I had to keep stopping as I was mixing to let the motor cool down. (I may have even burned the darn thing out… guess I’ll find out next time I go to bake something!) Because I was a trifle anxious about the noxious smells emanating from the motor, I stopped beating the mixture a little too early. Everything was properly blended, but in retrospect I probably should have persisted a bit longer, as my cookies didn’t turn out quite as light and melt-in-your-mouth as Mom’s (or maybe it’s just that she’s a MUCH better baker than I!).
The end result? Little bites of Christmas-y heaven.
Although I limited myself to just two cookies (which, by my calculations, were 91 calories each), I can testify that they are delicious… and I hope my fellow potluck party friends agree!
Do you have a favourite Christmas recipe?