Shortbread Snowflakes

Shortbread Snowflakes

This shortbread cookie recipe comes from Eli Zabar of Eli’s Manhattan in New York City, via the Barefoot Contessa Parties cookbook.  The first few years that I made them as a Christmas cookie, I decorated them with silver dragees, so festive.  When silver dragees weren’t readily available, I found myself on an exhaustive search for them at every bakery within 15 miles!  Most of the bakeries were unwilling to part with their supply, I only found one.  Now that that supply has also been depleted, I decorate the cookies with white sugar pearls. Nonpareils would also work well.  To help maintain the shape, I always chill the dough after cutting it into snowflakes, 10 minutes to overnight, tightly wrapped in saran wrap.

  • 3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • silver dragees, sugar pearls, or nonpareils for decorating
  1. Mix together the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until just combined.  Add the vanilla.  In another bowl, sift together the flour and salt; add it to the butter and sugar.  Mix until the dough starts to come together.  Dump on a floured board and shape into a flat disk.  Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Roll the dough 1/4 inch thick to 1/2 inch thick and cut with desired cookie cutter.  (Chill, if desired) Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake 10-12 minutes for 1/4 inch thick, to 20-25 minutes for 1/2 inch thick, until the edges begin to brown.  Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Combine the confectioners’ sugar with about 2 tablespoons of water to make a very thin glaze.  Spoon onto the cookies and sprinkle with a few dragees (sugar pearls, etc.) before the glaze dries.

About Josette@thebrookcook

I live in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island. I love garlic and baking. My hobby (and love) is to try new recipes. My favorite recipe resources include The New York Times, Food and Wine, Bon Appetit, and Martha Stewart Living. Enjoy!

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