Merry Christmas! This year we’re at my parents’ house for the holiday. It’s a quiet one this year, which is OK with me. My husband and I just got back from a trip to Las Vegas with some friends. And from what I remember, it was a fantastic trip. I’m just kidding. Of course I remember it all…I have pictures, so how could I forget?! Haha!
After recovering from that trip to Sin City, I wasn’t really up for doing a huge baking project, but my son needed to leave something out for Santa and his reindeer. We all know Santa prefers homemade over store-bought cookies, so I had to think of something. A while back I found this shortbread recipe that looked really cute, and I thought it was a great time to try them.
Orange Shortbread Cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1-2 Tablespoon orange juice (optional)
Candy holly leaves and berries (I used Wilton’s, which I found on Amazon.com)
In a medium bowl sift together flour and salt. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream together butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape bowl and add vanilla. Mix until combined. Now add the flour mixture and mix in by hand. Fold in orange zest. If the dough looks too dry, add orange juice one tablespoon at a time.
Once all ingredients are combined, form a ball with the dough and roll into a disk about half an inch thick. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for about half an hour.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Unwrap dough and place on a lightly floured counter. Roll out dough to about 1/4″ thick. Using a cookie cutter of your choice, cut out dough. Place candy holly leaves and berries on each cookie in a design of your choosing and press down firmly (almost the the point where the candy is flush with the dough). Try not to get them too close to the edge of the cookie because the heat from the cookie sheet will melt them. As always, try and get as many cookies as you can out of that initial roll-out. Place cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 12-15 mins.
Merry Christmas and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe