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Shortbread Buttons

Shortbread Buttons: In a bowl whisk the flour with the cornstarch and salt.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and beat until smooth and creamy (about 2 minutes). Add the flour mixture and beat just until the dough starts to come together. Divide the dough in half. Place one half of the dough back into the bowl of your mixer and add enough food coloring to get the desired color. Then flatten the dough into a disk shape, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill the dough until firm (about one hour). Repeat the same process with the second half of your dough.

Once the dough is firm, remove one disk from the refrigerator and place it between two sheets of parchment paper, wax paper or plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough until it's about 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Then place the dough, along with the parchment paper, on a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for about 20-30 minutes or until firm. Repeat the process with the second disk of dough.

Once the dough is firm, remove one sheet of dough from the refrigerator. Peel off the top sheet of parchment from the dough and, using a 2 inch (5 cm) round cookie cutter, cut out rounds. Place the rounds on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (Gather up any leftover scraps of dough and reroll.) Then, taking a 1 3/4 inch (4 cm) cookie cutter, lightly press the top of each cookie making a slight indentation. Do not cut all the way through the cookie dough. Finally, take a 1/8 inch (3 mm) pastry tip (Wilton #7) and cut out two or four "button" holes in the center of each cookie. Place the sheet of unbaked cookies into the refrigerator to firm up while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for about a week or they can be frozen.

Makes about 35-40 shortbread cookies.

Shortbread Buttons:

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon (10 grams) cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

1 cup (225 grams) butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup (90 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) pure vanilla extract

Food coloring

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