Donna Hay’s shortbread cookies

I have fond memories of these cookies. Because I once made them late into the night, as Christmas presents for a group of friends. I’ve always missed my past midnight bakings, where everything’s quiet, and it’s just you and your cookies/cakes/pastries… be it whipping up the dough, waiting for it to bake, decorating or putting your final product into nice little packages to give away.

Donna Hay’s shortbread is one of the shortbread cookies I always go back to – it’s a trusty and simple recipe that never fails. Their flavour and texture reminds me of the danish cookies we find in those blue tins! And many people grew up eating those blue tin cookies I believe ;) I bought it for a event reception recently, my colleague got excited seeing them, and even our guests from the Philippines went for the tin first haha.

This was made as a farewell gift to one of my colleagues. Hope she likes the buttery morsels!

Donna Hay's shortbread cookies

Shortbread cookies
(Adapted from Donna Hay’s Modern Classics 2 shortbread recipe)

220g butter, softened
2/3 cup castor sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour OR corn flour

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius (The original recipe puts it at 160 degrees, but i like to bake it at a higher temperature with a shorter baking time ;))

2. Cream butter with the sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and egg and continue beating for about 1 minute.

3. Add your flours and mix until your dough just comes together.

4. At this stage, time to play with the dough! You can
– refrigerate and bake it another time
– put it into a piping bag and pipe circles or heart shapes (like what I did, and use it to sandwich some chocolate in between)
– Roll it into balls, flatten slightly and sprinkle with sugar
– Roll it into balls, and using the back of a fork, flatten it slightly to create cute ridges on the cookie top
Let your imagination run wild! Just make sure the cookies are about the same size so that it all bakes evenly. Or you could bake the different sizes in different batches.

5. Place on baking sheet and bake for about 12-15 minutes, until the cookie is nicely golden brown.

6. Remove from oven, leave it to cool on the tray for about 2 minutes then transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.


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