Easy Butter Cookies

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Introduction: Easy Butter Cookies

About: A full-time blogger with a passion for cooking and baking! Check out my blog www.curryandvanilla.com for simple and delicious creations from my kitchen!

A classic eggless, buttery, melt-in-mouth shortbread cookie with just butter, sugar and flour with a dash of lemon; a scrumptious holiday cookie or edible gift!

Step 1: INGREDIENTS NEEDED:

FOR THE COOKIES:

½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

¼ cup fine, granulated sugar (or powdered sugar)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp lemon juice (or you can use ¼ tsp lemon extract); totally optional

Few strands of saffron (again, optional)

Extra flour for dusting the ladle and whisk to make designs on the cookies

¼ cup mixed fruit or any jam, melted slightly over stove or microwave (if you want to make thumbprint like butter cookies)

Step 2: EQUIPMENT NEEDED:

A mixing bowl

Hand mixer/beater or wooden spoon/spatula

Baking sheets

Parchment paper or aluminum foil

Frying ladle (like a spider web)

Small whisk

Step 3: STEP-WISE INSTRUCTIONS TO MAKE LEMON BUTTER COOKIES:

In a mixing bowl, add sugar and softened butter and beat until the mixture is well combined until smooth, light and fluffy

You can use a hand mixer or even use a wooden spoon to mix (it will take longer but will work).

If you want you can stir in saffron strands and some lemon/lime juice to make lemon flavored butter cookies. This is totally optional.

Step 4:

Add flour and gently mix to combine thoroughly. DO NOT KNEAD THE MIXTURE!

Just mix to gather and form soft dough.

At this stage, cover and chill for about 30 minutes. Chilling helps in setting the butter and will avoid the cookies from spreading too much while baking. If you are in hurry, you can proceed making cookies right away; it will still taste and bake well.

Step 5: BAKING THE COOKIES:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Centigrade or 350 Fahrenheit.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.

Just before baking, make small balls of the dough and place on the sheet, about 2 inches apart (to allow room for the cookies to spread and bake).

Now, dust the bottom of frying ladle by pressing gently over dry flour and then press the dusted portion over the cookie, trying to center the pressing to make a spider web design.

Do the same using the small whisk. Gently press at the center of the cookie with the whisk portion held vertically onto the cookie dough ball to make a design.

Design all the cookies the same way or you can leave it plain.

Step 6:

If you want jam cookies, make a small indentation at the center of the cookie dough ball with your thumb or little finger.

Gently, using a small spoon, dot the center with some melted jam (microwave some jam, if thick, for a few seconds until flowing and slightly liquidy).

Step 7:

Now, once all the cookies have been decorated, bake in preheated oven for 13 to 15 minutes until edges are slightly golden brown. Do not over bake.

For a crispier, browner color, bake a minute or two more. We prefer it this way, slightly buttery and crumbly with just the right amount of crispiness!

Step 8:

Remove from oven and after 1 minute of cooling on pan, gently remove the cookie from the pan and let cool completely on cooling wire rack.

Enjoy warm or when completely cool; store leftovers in airtight containers at room temperature.

Enjoy and Happy Baking!

Step 9: NOTES:

The proportion of the ingredients is such that you will get a perfect dough which can be rolled into balls and baked right away.

If you want, you can roll the dough into logs, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 2 to 3 hours until firm. Just before baking, remove from fridge, unwrap and slice with a sharp knife and then bake.

If you do not have the spider web frying ladle or whisk, bake them plain; tastes awesome or make all of them with jam for delicious jam filled thumbprint cookies!

Let your imagination go wild and sprinkle colored sugar sprinkles, finely chopped nuts, place a M&Ms in the center and bake.

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