For bakers, Christmas means the big shortbread questions. Do you handle the dough like pastry or do you knead it for 20 minutes? Do you pare things down to the three traditional ingredients -- butter, sugar and flour -- or do you get fancy with add-ins like dried cranberries and white chocolate chips? Do you bake low and slow or high and fast? This lovely shortbread recipe, a family favourite from McCreary's Amy Buchanan, starts out old-fashioned and then finishes with kid-friendly toffee bits.
228 g (1 cup) butter, softened
375 ml (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
125 ml (1/2 cup) icing sugar
125 ml (1/2 cup) Skor bits, or to taste
Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a medium bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter, flour and sugar until well combined and fluffy. Stir in Skor bits. Form into small balls, about 2.5 cm (1 in), and place on baking sheet, leaving 5 cm (2 in) between cookies to allow for spreading. Bake for 8-11 minutes or until just turning golden brown on the bottom. Cool on rack. Yields 2 1/2- 3 dozen.
Tester's notes: Very rich and buttery. I'm not sure what my shortbread-purist Scottish grandmothers would have thought about the Skor bits, but I know my children loved them.