Christmas baking has always been a thing in my house. Growing up my mom really set the bar with an impressive array of treats every year. Cherry Surprises, homemade Turtles, Peanut Butter Balls. It wasn't so much cookies as it was a conglomerate of treats... and my friends growing up would always look forward to their share in the treats.
But shortbread were never part of the mix - at least not a consistent part. I remember my mom making the roll-it-out dough style shortbread - I loved cutting the shapes out and "helping" at this. But the cookies - meh... they were okay but give me a Peanut Butter Ball any day of the week.
That is - until we discovered the Churchlady Shortbread. Mom started buying her shortbread from one of the local churches - they had a bakesale but you could also order some of the treats (nothing like making the old women of the church really work for their money). The shortbread were $10 (I think?) for a large coffee can container. We always ordered 3 containers. 1 for me - 1 for mom - and 1 to share on cookie trays.
No wonder I always gained 10 pounds at Christmas...
Sooooo - long story short. The poor old lady that used to make this scrumptiously delicious shortbread... stopped making it. I don't believe she passed away (although I'm sure she's no longer with us this many years later - bless) - but she got old enough that she wasn't into making shedloads of cookies at Christmas anymore.
It was a travesty. We were distraught. And so what did we do?
Oh that's right - we tracked down the woman and called her and begged her (daughter who answered the phone) for the recipe...
No really - they're THAT good.
And so - I can now make all the ridiculously good shortbread I want. And so can you! Here's the recipe...
Whipped Shortbread (aka Churchlady Shortbread):
1 pound of butter (softened)
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
+ Sprinkles! Don't forget your sprinkles!! :)
Add butter + vanilla to food processor - whip. Add icing sugar - whip. Add cornstarch - whip. Add flour - 1 cup at a time - whip whip whip. It should be about the consistency of whipped cream at this stage - fluffy and yummy (taste it - soooo good!). Now - using a cookie press (or just dollop onto a baking sheet if you don't have a cookie press - but really? Who doesn't have a cookie press? I recommend the Wilton press!) drop cookies onto ungreased baking sheet. Add sprinkles (yum!). Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-12 minutes.
My tip? Put your cookie sheet on a higher level than you normally use in the oven - and check your cookies at 8 minutes - that's all I ever bake them for. Because you DON'T want brown bottoms or edges - shortbread never looks "cooked".
Melt in your mouth perfection...
PS - Best way HANDS DOWN to eat your shortbread? Straight from the freezer? Trust me...