These butter cookies are one of those childhood recipes that will always remind me of my enterprising granny with whom I spent a large part of my growing up years. They have an amazing melt in your mouth feel, I’m always reaching for more and you know I have a propensity to dunk everything in my tea or coffee don’t you? Well, they’re even better that way!
My granny was a seamstress and a cook from a fairly young age. She married quite young, as women in certain cultures did at that time; I believe she had my mum when she was only 17 and my uncle the following year! She also adopted two more babies a few years down the road, my two darling aunts, the youngest is only about 7 years older than me!
And over the years, she took in so many “strays” that as we were growing up, that’d be a constant stream of strangers, knocking on our door, thanking her for her love, her care, her direction, yada, yada. She really was something else! I was just telling my kids yesterday that as we were growing up, we didn’t buy any clothes because my granny would always be dressing us in the latest fashion, all done with her trusted Singer sewing machine. A couple of months before every festive season, she’d be besieged with tailoring orders from folks all over, all by word of mouth. In Singapore, this would be about four times a year as we “officially” celebrate Christmas, Eid, Diwali and the Chinese New Year. And this is before we get into the food business she (we) ran from home for many, many years!
Back to the butter cookies. Some would call them shortbread but as we have a shortbread recipe made with part semolina, we insist on butter cookies! The dough itself is very soft, you could make it into a roll, place it in the fridge and just slice out discs but we prefer to press out the cookies using a cookie press because we have one! That’s exactly how we used to make it in my granny’s kitchen 30 – 40 years ago! The cookie press is easily found everywhere, needless to say, Amazon will stock it.
If you don’t want to get a cookie press, a piping bag with a large star or flower piping nozzle like the Wilton 1M or 2D will work perfectly or as mentioned, place it in the fridge and slice into discs. The dough doesn’t spread much, so you don’t have to space them out too much.
- 180g/6oz plain flour
- 30g/1oz cornflour
- 180g/6.3oz salted butter
- 50g/1.8oz icing (powdered) sugar, sifted
- half tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 160˚C/310˚F.
- Sift the flours together.
- Beat the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed and light and pale. I find that electric beaters work best, to avoid sugar lumps in the butter.
- Using a wooden spoon, stir in the vanilla or any flavouring you prefer.
- Add the flours and mix thoroughly.
- Press or pipe out the cookies onto a large baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes or so until the cookies are a light golden colour.
You can control the feel of the baked cookies. The lighter the colour when you take them out of the oven, the more melt in the mouth they will be. A slightly darker shade will give you a crunchier cookie.