How does the old saying go? When life gives you dangling body parts….make cookies. Or is it… when kitchen equipment fights back, kick it in the balls. Or maybe…when life gives you a swift kick in the ass, you better know how to roll. Or something like that, right? Even though I’m temporarily down a digit, I opted for making cookies. Wanna know what kind? Of course you do, you’re nosy like that and you love cookies as much as that fuzzy blue monster and I do.
After “the madoline incident,” I thought I would make up some cookies for my neighbors who helped me out. Oh yeah, I’ve got a couple of neighbors that are Dr.’s, so I was able to get my post mortem check up around my schedule and in my comfy (ok, my pajamas) clothes. I had to explain to Craig that none of these cookies were earmarked for his belly. After he settled down a bit (yes, this is one of the reasons why I don’t have children), I explained to him that it takes a village to help mend one of its broken citizens. He was only mildly perturbed that I used a phrase from almost two decades ago. I think this bothered him because I remembered it and he didn’t.
I needed an easy to make recipe, since I was down an opposable thumb, but still wanted something that tasted good and then it came to me…shortbread cookies. Who doesn’t love shortbread cookies? Then I started looking through some of my favorite recipes and remembered everyone gushing about Ruhlman’s Ratio book. In a nutshell, he’s taken baking back to it’s basics. If you know the ratio of flour to fat to sugar and liquid you can bake anything without a recipe. So I used that as the basis for these easy shortbread cookies.
Oh, so I should probably tell you what the ratio is. The ratio for shortbread cookies is 1-2-3. No, seriously…that’s what it is. One part sugar, two parts fat and three parts flour. Beyond that, you can add in your flavorings. I told you these were going to be easy shortbread recipes. Oh, and that shortbread cookies ratio works for both the sweet or savory shortbread recipe you want to make.
I happen to be quite the sucker for tea cookies. No, not cookies that you have with tea (although those aren’t too bad and you could certainly eat shortbread cookies with tea) but cookies that are flavored with tea. You don’t even have to make up the tea, just add the leaves to the dough and you’re all set.
I made three separate batches of the dough for these tea cookies, but you could just as easily make up one big batch of plain dough, divide it up and then add in your flavors. After you make up the batch of dough, you roll it in wax paper or plastic wrap and toss it into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Then take it out, slice and bake.
The flavors I used were green tea (which I used matcha powder for because I have a LOT of it), vanilla chai and orange tangerine. All of these teas work really well with the rich buttery flavor you get from shortbread cookies. But you could use just about any tea flavor that you like.
If you know you’re going to be needing cookies for something that’s coming up, you could always make up this dough, roll it up and put it into freezer bags. Put it in the freezer and thaw it out as needed. Who needs to buy those crappy cookies from the grocery store. Plus, these cost a lot less than those do.
I love me some John Waters and well, this is just some really good advice.
Recipe: Easy Shortbread Cookies Recipes
- 1/4 Cup Sugar
- 1/2 Cup Butter
- 1/2 Cup Flour
- 1/4 Cup Brown Rice Flour (you could just use 3/4 cup of flour and omit the rice flour)
- 1/4 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 Teaspoons Tea (approximately the contents of 2 tea bags)
- In the bowl of your mixer cream the sugar and butter until it is pale yellow in color.
- Slowly add the flour into the mixture and mix just until it’s blended in.
- Pour in the vanilla and tea. Slowly mix these ingredients in until you see that the tea is evenly distributed.
- Scrape the dough onto a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap. Roll into a log, twist the ends and put it into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and unwrap it.
- Slice it into 12-16 pieces of equal thickness.
- Lay them out on a baking sheet with approximately 1″ between them.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the tops look slightly dry and the bottom edges have browned slightly.
- Let them cool, on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then slide them onto a cooling rack.
- Once cooled, it’s time to dig in.
You can roll the dough into a log and cut it into circles or you could flatten the sides to make squares. If you’re making a lot of these, changing up the shapes will make the serving platter look prettier. It’s also a great way to help remember which flavor is which.
You could also roll this dough out and cut shapes from it.
This ratio method can also be used for making savory shortbread cookies.
Preparation time: 15 minute(s)
Cooking time: 15 minute(s)
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 12
Culinary tradition: USA (General)