Just a few nights ago, I found myself flipping through Martha's Baking Handbook and felt the sweet urge to master a new dessert. After a few hours of contemplating, measuring and mixing, my batch of shortbread turned out beautifully. But I felt that I couldn't simply hand over a box of cookies to a friend...packaging was absolutely necessary. I grabbed my gold and white baker's twine (from Target), a few pieces of parchment paper from the roll I used to bake the shortbread, and a gold sharpie.
The packaging is super easy and inexpensive, and it elevates a traditional cookie into a holiday treasure. Personalize each package of two (or four) shortbread sticks with handwritten notes and names. Get creative, ladies!
3 sticks butter, room temperature
¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar, for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line one 8 x 12 inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In small bowl, combine flour and salt and set aside. In a large bowl, beat butter on medium speed until light and airy, about 3-4 minutes. Add powdered sugar and continue to beat until well combined. Add flour mixture and stir on low speed, just until mixed. The texture should appear like a soft cookie dough.
3. Using an offset spatula, spread dough evenly across baking sheet. Place baking sheet in freezer for 10-15 minutes, or until dough is firm. Poke holes throughout dough with a fork and place in oven. Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through cooking time.
4. Remove from oven and place on wire rack. Immediately sprinkle granulated sugar on top. While still warm, use a large knife to cut 4 x 1 inch shortbread sticks. Cool shortbread completely in pan. Store in an airtight container for up to one week, or wrap and gift as I do here.
adapted from martha stewart