It’s pouring rain here on the west coast, and I’m curled up on the couch, wrapped myself into a blanket burrito with a cup of tea and a little plate of lemon and bourbon vanilla shortbread cookies.
This is my favourite time of year! It’s so cozy and festive. I love the holiday music and the fact that you can have endless cups of tea without any judgement. And the sweaters. I love sweaters. When I moved in with my boyfriend again a couple months ago, I brought over my things in boxes. One box for kitchen supplies, one for clothes, one for towels and other household things. And then one box entirely of sweaters. And that wasn’t even all of them, I left nearly half of them at home… Generally he just laughs and rolls his eyes, but lately he’s been increasingly horrified by the number of animal sweaters I’ve been collecting. Oops.
I’m finally home for the holidays and I’m honestly so happy about it. The house is covered in christmas decorations, there are plates of cookies and chocolates crammed on any possible surface, and Michael Buble is on repeat.
This is also the time of year where I give zero fucks about the amount of fat I consume. (Not that I give many fucks generally.) Usually my daily butter/sugar/cream intake is just a bit above average, but around Christmas time it moves straight on up to the level of appalling. Also working at a coffee shop has allowed me way too much access to eggnog, which means that naturally, I have eggnog everyday.
So when you read this recipe and think “wow that’s a lot of butter”, you’re right, it is a lot of butter. But it’s the time of year where you should embrace it, let butter into your hearts and lives with open arms. So unless your sitting on the couch under a pile of blankets with a stack of these buttery cookies and an eggnog latte, then you’re not really living.
Lemon & Bourbon Vanilla Shortbread Cookies
(adapted from Ina Garten’s “Shortbread Cookie” recipe)
3/4 pound of butter, room temperature (3 sticks)
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons Bourbon Vanilla extract (I got mine from Trader Joe’s)
2 lemons worth of zest
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
- Sift together flour and salt. Set aside.
- In a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until combined.
- Add lemon zest and bourbon vanilla extract. Mix to combine.
- Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add the sifted dry ingredients until the dough starts to come together
- Empty bowl onto counter sprinkled with flour and press together.
Wrap in cling film and put in the fridge for 30-60 minutes.
- Sprinkle the counter with flour, then roll out dough to about 1/2 inch thickness
- Cut out using cookie cutters about 3 inches wide (I used circles)
- Place directly onto a tray, no parchment paper/grease and sprinkle with coarse sugar
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden, and the bottoms of the cookies are a slightly stronger golden colour.
Note: The original recipe calls for 20-25 minutes, which I tried and ended up with sad burnt crisps… Now, I don’t know if it was the thickness or the size of the cookies I made or simply a difference in ovens. But I’d definitely suggest peeking in the oven at 10 minutes to make sure they don’t overcook. Especially if you want them chewy! Then take them out early, while the bottoms of the cookies are lightly golden.
Now I’m off to curl up and watch Love Actually with a plate of these cookies and a cup of hot chocolate.
Happy eating! x