Easy 4 Ingredient Shortbread Cookies With Tips for Using Cookie Stamps
(Perfect for cookie stamps!)
Cream 1 pound (4 sticks) room temperature butter (I use the salted kind) for about 30 seconds with mixer on medium speed, but don't whip air into the butter.
Add 1 1/2 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar and 1/2 tsp. table salt (not Kosher salt), cream again on low speed till incorporated into butter, don’t over-cream and whip air into the mixture!
On low speed, gradually add in 4 cups of sifted flour, all purpose is fine, but you can substitute up to half of the flour with another type, like almond flour, cake flour, etc. to experiment with different tastes and textures. Mix just until it comes together. At this point you can also add up to 1 tsp. of almond or vanilla extract, if you want a different flavor.
Turn dough out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap, flatten into a disc and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes so the flour gets incorporated into the butter. If you over-chill the dough it will be difficult to form into balls.
Form 1" balls of dough and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. If you don't have parchment, it's OK, the cookies have enough butter that they won't stick but you will have to wash the cookie sheets....
Take your favorite cookie stamp design and press it into the big block of dough so it gets a bit dampened, then dip it in granulated sugar and press your cookie, as evenly as you can. If you dip your stamp in sugar before pressing each cookie the dough shouldn't stick, but if it does, just have a clean toothbrush handy to remove any bits of dough and try again. The granulated sugar really helps, and will give a nice sparkle to your finished cookies too.
Bake at 350 until the edges are just starting to brown; in my oven it takes about 12 minutes, but all ovens are not the same, so check your first batch frequently and adjust the time as needed. Remove to a wire rack to cool and enjoy!
Basic Cookie Stamp Preparation & Helpful Hints
Thoroughly wash (but never soak!) and dry your cookie stamps, then season new stamps before using them the first time by brushing them with a light coating of flavorless cooking oil, like canola oil. A toothbrush is an ideal tool for cleaning and seasoning. The stamp becomes well seasoned after using a few times and seldom needs further treatment.