cookies · Dessert · holiday

Christmas Shortbread Bites

One of the best parts about Christmas is all of the goodies leading up to the day. Homemade candies, party mixes and cookies abound. Cookies are never in short supply in my house around the holidays.

I don’t usually break outside of the box when it comes to Christmas cookies, though. My mom, grandma and I would always make plain sugar cookies (iced and/or sprinkled), My Man’s Cookies, and a powder sugar dusted-type of wedding cookie. That’s it! But that’s usually all you needed. I’m drooling now thinking about all of those cookies.

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Flipping through cooking magazines around this time and you’ll see all sorts of different cookies: rugelach, stained glass, almond, and much, much more. I’m always so tempted and inspired by all the little sugary beauties. Who could say no to a homemade cookie? I think I’d eat a cow patty if you said it was a cookie.

Since it’s just Rob & I for Christmas, I haven’t been making nearly as many goodies. I’ve got the homemade chex mix in the bag, plus we’ve baked a few sheets of pre-made cookies (Toll House can sometimes not be beat), but other than that I haven’t really put my mind to making a ton of sweet treats.

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We have our work Christmas party on Thursday, so I decided that was the perfect time to experiment. I’ll be baking another batch of chex mix, plus making some holiday meatballs (simplified, of course), but I needed something sweet to give everyone a nice sugar rush…

Shortbread!

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That’s one of the easiest cookies you can make. The ingredient list is so short, and the mixing process so simple as long as you have a stand mixer. I threw in some red, white and green non-pareils to make it more holiday-themed, plus I cut them way down into small squares to make a bite-sized snack.

Amazing.

That’s only one adjective to describe these heavenly little morsels. It took no time to bake them up and fill a poinsettia painted container with the mini shortbread bites. If you’re still in need for some Christmas treats to hang around your house for guests, this recipe is perfect for that.

If you don’t gobble them up all at once. It’s tempting. It’s hard. But I believe in you. Just sneak handfuls when nobody is looking.

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Christmas Shortbread Bites

  • Servings: 16-18
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

A sweet, bite-sized shortbread cookie filled with Christmas colored sprinkles.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter (you can use unsalted, just make sure to put 1/4 tsp. salt in the dough)
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 TBS. round Christmas-colored sprinkles

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Line with parchment paper, pressing down (the butter acts like glue). Butter paper. Place another sheet of parchment paper in running the opposite direction, making sure some paper hangs over the edge.
  2. In a large stand mixer, mix together butter and sugar on low speed until creamed. Slowly drizzle in almond extract and beat for another minute. Add flour, about 1/2 cup at a time (dough will be sandy). Let mix for another 2-3 minutes until dough starts to come together.
  3. Pour in sprinkles and let mix together until well combined.
  4. Using hands, take dough out of mixture and press onto prepared baking dish, moving it out so it reaches the edges and so it fills the bottom of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to make it smooth on top.
  5. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  6. Using paper overhang, remove dough from baking sheet. Cut into 1/2″ squares. Place squares about a half inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until browned on the bottom. Repeat with remaining squares (this recipe made about 6-7 batches).

Step-By-Step Instructions

IMG_1821Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Line with parchment paper, pressing down (the butter acts like glue). Butter paper. Place another sheet of parchment paper in running the opposite direction, making sure some paper hangs over the edge. In a large stand mixer, mix together butter and sugar on low speed until creamed. Slowly drizzle in almond extract and beat for another minute. Add flour, about 1/2 cup at a time (dough will be sandy). Let mix for another 2-3 minutes until dough starts to come together.

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Pour in sprinkles and let mix together until well combined. Using hands, take dough out of mixture and press onto prepared baking dish, moving it out so it reaches the edges and so it fills the bottom of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to make it smooth on top. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

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Using paper overhang, remove dough from baking sheet. Cut into 1/2″ squares.

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Place squares about a half inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until browned on the bottom. Repeat with remaining squares (this recipe made about 6-7 batches).

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