Finnish Shortbread Cookies & Variations
2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
4 c. sifted flour
1/8 tsp. salt
sugar (for tops)
Cream butter and 1 c. sugar thoroughly. Add flour and salt. Shape in long, slender rolls 1" in diameter. Wrap rolls tightly in waxed paper and chill thoroughly.
Cut dough in 1/2" slices; place 1/2-1" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Press each circle down with your thumb. Sprinkle with almonds, then with sugar.
Bake in hot 400º oven 7-10 min. (Cookies should not brown.) Remove cookies and cool on racks.
Note: YOu can take the dough from the refrigerator and bake cookies whenever convenient. It's a good idea to chill the dough at least 24 hours.
Easter Shortbreads: Prepare dough for Finnish Shortbread cookies; chill thoroughly (do not form in rolls). Divide chilled dough in thirds, and work with one part at a time. Roll dough 1/3" thick on lightly floured surface. Cut first third of dough with Easter bunny cookie cutter; arrange 1/2" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Do not sprinkle with almond. Bake in hot 400º oven 8 min. Remove cookies and cool on racks. Repeat with second third or dough, but cut with chicken cookie cutter. Then roll and cut last portion of dough with and Easter cross cookie cutter.
When all cookies are cool, frost tops with Tinted frosting. Use pink dragées for bunny eyes, green dragées for chicken eyes and three silver dragées to decorate each cross. Spread frosted cookies out in tight container with waxed paper between layers if they are to be held a few hours or a couple days before serving. Set in cold place. Cookies are especially handsome served on a purple or black lacquer or silver tray.
Tinted Frosting: Beat together 'til smooth 2 c. sifted confectioners' sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla and 3-4 Tb. m ilk, enough to make a frosting of spreading consistency. Divide in thirds. To one part, add 1 drop of red food color to make a delicate pink frosting for the bunnies; to the second part, add 2 drops yellow food color to make frosting for chickens; and to the last third, add 1 drop green food color to make a pale green frosting for the crosses.