I’d seen these little festive Shortbread Bites pop up in my Facebook feed several times over the past couple weeks. I immediately was smitten. I mean, seriously, how cute are they? While I love shortbread, it’s so rich that a whole cookie can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. But, one perfect little bite? How can one resist that?
The recipe for the shortbread is on-point. Tender, buttery, and crumbly – it really is a little perfect little bite of baked perfection. The key is to knead the dough with your hands until it comes together. Use the mixer to break down the butter, but then your hands to bring it all together. When you dump the mix out of the work bowl it will be crumbly – don’t despair! After a few scrunches in your palms, the butter warms and makes a dough that is easy to work with.
I loved the flecks of color through-out the bites. Looking forward to making this with different colored nonpareils for other holidays as well – pink & red for Valentine’s, pastels for Easter, purple and orange for Halloween! I’ll definitely be making them again before the year is over for gift bags as well. There’s nothing better than homemade goodies to give as gifts!
Speaking of which, make sure you check back here on Sunday for a cookie swap party that I’m doing with some fellow blogger friends. There will be some great ideas to add to your “must bake” list this year! Have a great weekend, everyone!
Festive Shortbread Bites
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cold and cut into cubes
1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract
2 Tbsp red and green nonpareils or sprinkles
Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flour and sugar. Mix to combine. Add in the cubed butter and turn mixer onto low, then increase speed to medium until butter is cut into the flour until it resembles a coarse meal. Add the extract and mix for another 15 seconds.
Dump flour mixture out onto a clean work surface and scrunch dough together with your hands, warming the butter in the dough. Knead the nonpareils into the dough until evenly distributed.
Pat dough into an 8×4-inch rectangle. Cut dough into 1/2 inch squares using a pairing knife or pizza cutter. Place squares, 1/2-inch apart, on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake cookies 18-20 minutes or until lightly browned on the bottom. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cookies can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Source: adapted from Good Housekeeping