There is something so nice about baking cookies at Christmas time. Cold out, getting dark so early, the smell of something baking in the oven helps to cheer the senses and brings that calm feeling of being grateful for the little things we can do at home, so many of them. Peace, space, sense of fulfillness, reassurance of life, they all come to you when you’re baking your batches.
Here I go again with a Anna Olson’s recipe for these chocolate shortcake cookies. Decorating is the fun part, being creative is so contagious, once you start it is hard to stop. I ran out of baked cookies before I was ready to give up with my artistic decoration.
No pictures of the messy icing though. I promise I will post some for my next batch. I had icing all over he place, could not even find the camera or find a good angle for a shot.
Chocolate shortbread cookies with pretty icing
1/2 unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 icing sugar
1/4 granulated sugar
3/4 all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbs cocoa powder (to keep the dough delicate and tender)
Pre heat oven to 325.
Beat the butter and sugars for a couple of minutes until is light and fluffy. More beating is always better!
Add the dry ingredients and mix more in low speed. Let it chill in plastic wrap for at least one hour. It freezes very well too if you want to make the dough in advance.
Dust with a touch of flour on your surface and start rolling it as thin as possible, almost 1/8″ thick. Now, time to get creative and have your cutters out. The nice thing about shortbread dough is that there will be no waste, roll the dough out again as many times you can.
Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper, the cookies can be arranged quite close to each other. Bake for 13 to 15 min. Because they are brown, check if they are done by lifting up from the pan, if they lift it easily without bending they are done.
3 tbs merengue powder
6 tbs warm water
4 cups sifted icing sugar sifted – don’t skip this step
Mix all the ingredients in the mixing bowl. Start beating on slow speed and change to fast.
Adjust with more warm water or icing sugar. It is a bit tricky to get the right consistency for the decoration, pay attention to the consistency of the icing when you stop the mixer, it should collapse nice and slow.
Divide the icing in different bowls and add your pastry coloring. Let the fun begin! Just remember that the cookies should be totally cool before the decorating.
Create parchment paper cones to put the royal icing in it if you don’t have many plastic bags and tips.
To add a second color of icing let it rest for one hour and it will be ready for a layer in a different color.
For more royal icing decoration tips go to: How to work with royal icing
And here how my cookies looked so pretty as part of my tea party!
Enjoy and thanks for stopping by!