These shortbread cookies are delicious and so easy to make. I made the dough the night before and baked the cookies the following evening. I brought them in to work the next day and they were gone before noon! They are very buttery tasting and just plain good. I will be making them again this week for my Christmas tray. Still haven't decided which other ones to make for Christmas day - there are just so many good ones to make. That is what I will be doing this coming Tuesday and Wednesday...baking, baking and then more baking. In fact as I am typing this, I have a spiced gingerbread cake in the oven that I am kind of leary about. It is a recipe from a German website which uses a cup of stout beer and and lots of crystalized ginger. I have absolutely no idea how this will turn out but since I like gingerbread I thought it would be interesting to make. It also calls for 3.5 ounces of chocolate so how bad could it be. If it is good I will post it because it is something different. I'll let you know how it turns out.
From the Dorie Greenspan book "Baking - From my home to yours"
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour
Decorating (coarse) sugar
Beat butter at medium speed until smooth and very creamy. Add the sugars and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. The mixture should be smooth and velvety, NOT fluffy and airy. Reduce the mixer speed to low and beat in the egg yolks, again beating until homogenous. Turn off the mixer. Pour in the flour and continue mixing at low speed for 30 seconds more, just until flour disappears into the dough and the dough looks uniformly moist. The dough will not clean the sides of the bowl nor will it come together in a ball - and it shouldn't. Work the dough as little as possible - it should feel like Play-Doh. Scrape the dough out onto a clean work surface and gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each piece into a smooth log about 9 inches long. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably longer. The dough can keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen up to 2 months.
To bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove a log of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap it and place it on a piece of parchment paper or wax paper. Whisk one egg yolk until it is smooth and brush some of the yolk all over the sides of the dough - this is the glue - then sprinkle the entire surface of the log with decorating sugar. Trim the ends of the roll if they are ragged, and slice the log into 1/3 inch thick cookies. You can make these as thick as 1/2 inch or as thin as 1/4 inch, but no thinner than that. Place the rounds on the baking sheets leaving an inch of space between them. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes. (My first batch I baked for 17 minutes and they burned - so watch carefully from 13 minutes on.) They should be pale on top, slightly golden on the edges and light brown on the bottom. Remove from oven and let the cookies rest a minute or two carefully lifting them onto a rack with a wide metal spatula to cool to room temperature.