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Dec 17, 2011 10:09 AM

Butter Cookies same as????

My mom has a hankering for butter cookies (decorated for Christmas). Are those sugar cookies, shortbread cookies or something else?
I am a little confused.
I, personally, would like to make those melt in your mouth white"ish" cookies>
Any suggestions for recipes would be appreciated.

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  1. shortbread or spritz are typically plain, undecorated, or at least not iced. I call cut-out, decorated cookies sugar cookies but it is still a variation of butter cookie. The difference is only the proportion of egg, butter, flour and sugar which changes the texture. Shortbread is sandy and very tender. Spritz are about the middle of the road between shortbread and rolled sugar cookies.

    1. As far as the white-ish cookies are you thinking of meringues or Mexican wedding cookies?

      1 Reply
      1. re: lowereastrittenhouse

        No, I should have clarified "paler" than a golden brown. Now I am thinking it's the butter cookies or sugar cookies I think I want.

      2. I think these might work for you. Here is a recipe from a 15 year-old BHG Christmas Cookies magazine. It is a Danish Heirloom recipe called Christmas Ice Box Cookies:

        2 cups butter
        3 cups sugar
        1/2 tsp baking ammonia* or cream of tartar
        dash salt
        1 egg
        4 1/2 to 5 cups AP flour
        Coarse blue or white decorating sugar (optional)

        Beat butter with electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar, baking ammonia or cream or tartar and salt, beat until combined. Add egg, beat until well combined. Beat in as much flour as you can, stir in enough remaining flour to make a stiff dough.
        Divide dough into thirds, shape each third into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Cill 1 to 3 hours, until firm (I put them in the freezer).

        Slice into 1/4" slices, place 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheet (I like to use parchment). Sprinkle with the coarse sugar. Bake at 375 for about 8 - 10 minutes, or until bottoms and edges are golden brown. I prefer them to be done but not quite brown. I can't tell you how to tell that, except to take some to the browned edges stage, and then just bake them slightly less. I think that they will have the texture and feel that you desire.

        Oh... as to the baking ammonia. The mag. states that baking ammonia (or Ammonium Carbonate) was the typical leavening agent used in Denmark around 1900. They say that it is available at most pharmacies, though I have found that to be not true today. It says that cream of tartar is an acceptable substitute, although cookies made with it are less crisp than those made with the ammonia. I use the ammonia, which can be found online. I "think" I have made them with cream of tartar, and don't recall much of a difference. I just like the idea of using a long-forgotten ingredient that makes people ask "baking WHAT?" If you do use the baking ammonia, please ignore the awful smell of the raw ingredient, and the odor that you may still notice upon opening the oven door. Trust me, it is not at all present in the finished cookie. These cookies are a family favorite, and a must-have every Christmas. Let us know if you try them!

        1. I love cookies that melt in your mouth. This recipe does it. In fact it is called Melt In Your Mouth Shortbread. Very easy to make. You can just drop the dough by the spoonful or you can pipe with a star tip for drama. Works well either way.

          Melt In Your Mouth Shortbread

          1 cup unsalted butter, softened or at room temp.
          1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
          1/4 cup cornstarch
          1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour


          1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
          2. Using a mixer, whip butter until fluffy. Stir in the confectioners' sugar, cornstarch, and flour.
          3. Beat on low for 1 minute, then on high for 3 to 4 minutes.
          4. Drop cookies by spoonfuls 2 inches apart on parchment lined pans.
          5. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Make sure edges don't brown too much. Cool on wire racks. Yield three dozen or so depending on cookie size.