Americans describe a cookie as a thin, sweet, small cake. Actually, a cookie can be any kind of sweet cakes made of flour. Both crisp or soft are popular. According to culinary historians, the first set of cookies was test cakes. A small amount of cake batter was baked to test the oven temperature, before baking the entire cake. Dutch word “koekjemeans “small cake.”
The winter solstice in the month of December in the Northern Hemisphere is an astronomical phenomenon marking the day with the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. Winter solstice festivals, across the world, revolved around food. After all, you have to feast, since winter is coming!
By the Middle Ages, the Christmas holiday overtook solstice rituals throughout Europe. Cookies are favorite Christmas treats, as, unlike cakes and puddings they can be easily shared with far away family and friends.
Now my first memory of cookies goes back to my school days when we had a simple glass-topped aluminum oven. This was the first oven in which my love affair with baking began. I remember making very simple hard biscuits from whole wheat dough, without having any idea about authentic cookie recipes (as internet in our childhood was a fairy-tale type concept.) My sister would eat all my creations with equal gusto and very generous doses of advice.
Now that I own a proper convection oven I was thinking about baking some cookies for a very long time. But the onslaught of pictures of Christmas cookies and cookie challenges on Instagram was very intimidating. Also, in the process of making cookies, there is an extra step which involves chilling the dough. This step really puts me off and makes me feel lazy. But after drooling over all the yummy cookie pictures online and some extensive research on the “Science behind Making Cookies” I finally developed the courage to make cookies.
So, my friends, I will now tell you the recipe of the easiest three ingredient shortbread cookies in the world and believe me even if you are a novice in baking, these cookies will definitely turn out to be perfect. They absolutely melt in the mouth, crispy and golden pieces of heaven…….
To give these cookies a Christmas-ey flavor, you can add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper but then omit the chocolate chip and give the cookie a name of your choice!
Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Chilling Time: 30 minutes
Baking Time: 16 to 18 minutes
- 1 ¾ cups Flour
- ¾ cup powdered brown sugar
- Softened Salted Butter 1 cup.
*Chocolate Button/ Chocolate Chips or cinnamon/ nutmeg/black pepper powder (optional)
(Makes around 20 cookies)
CHRISTMAS COOKIE: EASY RECIPE
- Start by keeping all the ingredients on your work counter and all the mixing bowls, spoons, and baking tray ready.
- Cream together the softened butter and the powder brown sugar with a handheld mixer until it is fluffy and the color of the butter changes. It will take you around 7 to 8 minutes at low to medium speed.
- If you decide to make spiced cookies mix the flour with the powdered spices according to your taste.
- Now mix in the flour into the creamed butter sugar mixture until combined and forms a dough. You might have to use your hands at some point to bring it all together, but in that case, do not forget to wash your hands well.
- Roll the dough into 2 logs of about 1-inch diameter. Wrap each log in cling film or foil and put it into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
- After waiting for 30 minutes and getting other work in the kitchen done, take out one of the dough roll and unwrap it.
- With a sharp knife cut the dough roll into cookies of a thickness of your choice. ¼ inch thickness was the magic number for me.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180O Arrange the cookies on a baking tray with at least ½ a cm gap between them as the butter in them tends to make them spread while cooking. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes till crispy and golden.
- If you decide to use chocolate chips, you can use the second roll of dough and cut them similarly and top the with the chocolate chip. But remember to press gently, as otherwise the cookies will crack.
- At 16 minutes your cookies will be baked, but they will be light in colour. If you want the golden colour you have to give the cookies 2 more minutes but under supervision.
- When both the batches are baked, your easy, yummy, buttery, golden medallions of heaven are ready to be enjoyed with tea, coffee or just by themselves.
- And do not forget to share your cookies with family, friends and neighbours to spread the festive cheer this Christmas Season!