With Christmas a week away it’s time for some festive baking: beginning with Cranberry Shortbread Star Cookies. Buttery & melt-in-your-mouth, this easy shortbread recipe is one to add to the holiday baking repertoire. It was originally published in this year’s Christmas edition of Donna Hay magazine & as a lover of shortbread, well of course I had to try the recipe for myself…
Shortbread is very easy to make & this recipe was no exception. Although I did alter the method slightly: the recipe instructed rolling the dough between parchment paper then placing it into the fridge for 30 minutes. While this might be necessary in my homeland, Australia, it certainly isn’t when you live in Indiana, USA during the winter.
I thought it was impractical to expect someone to have space in their fridge for a slab of rolled shortbread dough – especially this time of year. So I tested the recipe chilling half the dough (as per recipe directions) & the other I simply rolled, cut & baked the shortbread – no chilling. There was no difference between the chilled& room temperature doughs. If the dough does appear to be a little soft (mine sure wasn’t), then refrigerate the dough before you roll it. Or skip that step.
The Donna Hay recipe didn’t call for dusting the shortbread with sugar either but I think it looks festive. When I make this again, I will brush egg white on the cookies before baking & sprinkle with course sugar. Or for total simplicity, leave them plain. Either way, they taste wonderful.
Enjoy this week leading up to Christmas. Don’t stress, all you have on your list will get done. And if it doesn’t happen – que sera sera. Happy baking, Lovoni xo
- 6 oz (1 1/2 sticks/170g) butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s (icing) sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose (plain) flour
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch (cornflour)
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries (chopped)
- Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Beat butter, vanilla & sifted icing sugar into a large bowl of electric mixer. Beat for about 8 minutes or until pale & creamy.
- Add sifted flours & cranberries & mix until just combined.
- Roll dough between 2 sheets of lightly flour parchment paper until 1/4 inch (4mm) thickness. (if mixture is too soft, shape into a disc & wrap in plastic wrap & chill for 10 minutes before rolling). Using a 3 inch (8cm) star-shape cookie cutter (or whatever shape you choose), cut stars, re-rolling the dough as necessary. Place on baking sheets. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edges. Let stand for 5 minutes until removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioner’s sugar before serving if desired. Makes about 18.
- This recipe can be made a week ahead of time & stored in a well-sealed jar.
These looked beautiful on your website, and think they would have made a nice addition to my cookie tray but the dough was was too crumbly to roll or cut out. Disappointed.
I’m sorry you had issues with the dough. As this is a recipe made each festive season by me & others, I know the recipe works. The issues you had might have been: the butter wasn’t softened enough & beaten the required length of time specified in the recipe & until the visual was as mentioned; the ingredients might not have been measured correctly (a common mistake by people). Shortbread is as the name depicts, a short dough because of the amount of butter in it but as you’ll see from the pics, the dough rolls out & cuts beautifully. There will be cracks when rolling as you get with pastry too but the dough is so pliable they get pressed back together. I know this recipe is good so I’m sorry you had issues with it. Sometimes the time of year the wheat was harvested & where it came from will make a difference to a baking recipe too. Exact measurements are important in baking & why I generally like to include the weight of ingredients with baking recipes – something not embraced by North Americans but it’s important. I hope this doesn’t deter you from trying them again or a different recipe. Merry Christmas & once again, I’m sorry you had a problem with the dough.