I’m all about Christmas cookies… well cookies in general really, and so this Christmas I decided to once again send some of my family tins of cookies. But, I can’t half ass anything / go the easy route so I, of course, made two types of pretty fancy cookies.
I made Linzer Jam Thumbprint cookies and these French Shortbread Cookies. The Jam cookies were pretty delicious – they have a hazelnut dough with raspberry jam (above), but the French Shortbread Cookies were out of this world.
They are so simple – with 4 ingredients – and they are a great cookie. Plus, they’re French so they’re automatically fancy no matter how easy they are to make. In French, these cookies are called Punition, which translates to “punishment.” I am so curious about this history of their name… if there’s a world where eating cookies is a punishment, what bank do I have to rob? White collar crime, do I have to commit?
The secret to these cookies is butter. There’s a good 10 tablespoons in this recipe so it doesn’t hurt to use really good butter. While you can use unsalted butter, using salted butter would work great in this recipe. Clearly if you use unsalted butter, add a little salt to the dough!
Cookie cutters or ravioli stamps work great when rolling out and stamping the dough too.
- 10 tbsp. salted butter, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 cups flour
- In a bowl, use a hand mixer on medium speed to beat together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, 2—3 minutes. Add egg and beat until smooth. Add flour and mix on low speed until just combined.
- Transfer dough to a work surface and form into a ball; halve ball and form each half into a flat disk. Wrap disks separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, 1 hour.
- Heat oven to 350º. Transfer one disk to a lightly floured work surface; using a rolling pin, roll out to ¼″ thickness. Using a 1½″ round or fluted cookie cutter, cut out rounds and transfer to parchment paper-lined baking sheets, spacing them 1″ apart; repeat with remaining dough disk.
- Bake, rotating baking sheets top to bottom and front to back halfway through cooking, until cookies are set but not browned, 8—10 minutes. Let cool before serving.