FAIL: Elfin Shortbread Cookies

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
(Elle’s New England Kitchen)
1 1/4 cups flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 TB red and green sprinkles
Directions
– 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 8×5 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.

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