When creating new recipes, I tend to stick with what I know.
I’ll play around with a pre-existing recipe and watch it morph into something else.
Here, my traditional shortbread cookies get a holiday makeover with sparkly sprinkles for a bit of festive bling.
Recently, I made a bunch of cookie dough logs for the freezer.
Shortbread is one of our favorites and I wanted to put a twist on the original this year.
Instead of rolling and cutting the dough into shapes, the shortbread was divided into thirds and rolled into logs.
Each log was then rolled in red, white, and green pastel colored sprinkles. After this sparkling appliqué, they were wrapped in parchment paper and frozen.
When ready to bake, the trick is to slightly defrost the logs before slicing; they are easier to cut and will maintain a smooth, round shape.
If you’ve never made cookie dough logs before, it’s really convenient- just slice and bake! Keep a few logs in the freezer and you will have gorgeous cookies whenever you feel like baking.
For us, this was a fun and festive way to enjoy one of our favorite cookies.
What’s your favorite holiday cookie?
- This recipe requires 3 egg yolks. However, the egg whites can be saved. Place them in a small container (or individually) and freeze- don’t forget to label and date. I’ll post a new recipe on how to use them soon. Stay tuned!
- When cutting the logs, use a large chef knife. Test the very end piece of the log first to see it it’s ready. If it’s too hard, wait a little bit until it’s easier to slice. Also, it helps to press the back of the knife in towards the log as you cut; this will ensure round and not diagonal sliced cookies.
- Feel free to add citrus zest or different extracts such as almond or vanilla to vary the flavor of the shortbread dough.
- I like to use salted butter for these cookies. Although baking with salted butter is a faux pas, try it. The flavor is fantastic.
- Cookie dough logs can be frozen up to 3 months or longer when wrapped properly.
- 3 c sifted flour
- 2 sticks of salted butter, cubed
- 3 egg yolks*
- 1 c sugar (I use Florida Crystals)
- red, white and green pastel sprinkles
Kitchen Notes: if you want to bake straight away (not from frozen) after making the dough, skip wrapping the logs in parchment and jump to bullet point #7. Bake for about 15-18 minutes.
*Save the leftover egg whites. Place them in a container, label and date. Freeze, up to 3 months.
**When cutting the logs, use a large chef knife. Test the very end piece of the log first to see it it’s ready. If it’s too hard, wait a little bit until it’s easier to slice. Also, it helps to press the back of the knife in towards the log as you cut; this will ensure round and not diagonal sliced cookies.
- Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub together using your fingertips. The heat from your hands will incorporate the butter into the flour.
- In another small bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together. Add to the flour.
- Gently mix the dough with your hands until it comes together into a ball. If it’s a bit crumbly, that’s normal. Keep working the dough until it comes together. Do not over mix.
- Divide the dough into thirds. Working directly on the counter, roll each piece of dough into a log about the length of your forearm.
- Roll each log into the colored sprinkles, respectively.
- Wrap the logs snuggly in parchment paper and twist the ends to close. Label and date. Freeze until ready to use.
- To bake, preheat your oven to 325 F. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Defrost the logs for a couple of minutes or so. They will be easier to slice and will maintain a smooth, round shape.
- Using a large chef’s knife, cut the frozen dough logs into rounds, about ¼- inch thick (refer to a tape measure). Transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until very lightly golden (adjust baking time if you find that your cookies need a little bit longer in the oven). Swap and rotate racks for even coloration.
- Remove the cookies and cool for about 5 minutes on the tray.
- Transfer to a wire rack.