Shortbread Cookies
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • Decorating sugar
  • egg wash
  1. In a stand mixer beat the butter at medium speed until smooth and very creamy.  Add sugars and salt and beat until well blended.  The mixture should be smooth and velvety, not fluffy and airy.  Reduce speed to low and beat in the egg yolks until incorporated.
  2. Pour in the flour and pulse the mixer at low speed 5-7 times for a second or two each time.  (You can put a towel over the mixer to protect yourself from getting flour all over you).  Continue mixing at low speed for 20 seconds more, just until flour disappears into the dough.  The dough should be soft, moist and clumpy.
  3. Scrape the dough onto a smooth work surface sprinkled with flour, gather into a ball and divide in half.  Flatten each half into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours or up to 3 days.
  4. Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350.  Line baking sheet with parchment.  Remove dough from refrigerator, remove from plastic, sprinkle with some flour and roll out to approximately ¼ inch to ⅓ inch thick.  Use your favorite holiday shaped cutouts to form each cookie.
  5. Whisk egg for egg wash.  Gently brush the top of each cookie with the egg wash and sprinkle generously with decorator's sugar.  Place on baking sheet, one inch apart.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes (smaller cookies might only need 12 minutes, watch carefully), rotating baking sheet at the midway point, until the edges are lightly golden and the tops of the cookies are slightly less golden.  Remove from oven, allow to sit for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack.