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Christmas shortbread cookie ideas?

Is it wrong that I'm already thinking about Christmas?

I just learned how to make shortbread cookies, and thanks to tips from here and elsewhere on the Web, I'm happy with how they're coming out now. I tried a few variations/embellishments like dipping them in chocolate, making lemon ones and dipping them in white chocolate and they came out really good. I've also seem people add lavender, things like that.

For Christmas, what interesting holiday/wintery flavors are there that could be added to the cookie itself? And what embellishments could be added? I'm trying to think of something beyond a basic cookie shaped like a Christmas tree topped with some sprinkles or plain icing.

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  1. Shaping them into bars then dipping one end in chocolate and the other sprinkles with sugar is nice for Christmas. Pressing an indentation in the center of the shaped raw dough and filling it with fruit jam, a chocolate chip or other treat (even a hazel nut or pecan) is also a nice touch.
    Just try to avoid making the coating/adornment the feature of the cookie. The shortbread itself needs to stand out as the primary element with the adornment being a special enhancement to the teat.

    5 Replies
    1. re: todao

      Thank you!

      1. re: todao

        I saw biscotti with green pistachios and dried cherries in them for Christmas. I switched the cherries for cranberries (just out of preference) and dippied the end in white chocolate and they were a big favorite.

        1. re: juli5122

          Could I do something like that with shortbread? It sounds really good.

          1. re: bythebay

            Sure. These icebox cookies are actually shortbread, but you could just add the nuts and fruit to your favorite recipe if you prefer: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              Thank you! I'm so new to baking so still learning. I love the idea of dried fruit in shortbread.

      2. Bickford's makes a great eggnog flavoring that I used in shortbread last Christmas--was very popular.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pine time

          Love this idea! Exactly the type of thing I'm looking for, thanks!

        2. This is amazing:

          http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

          1 Reply
          1. re: sandylc

            Yum, thank you!

          2. Just thought I'd update with what I came up with. I made an orange pecan one with chocolate drizzle. Nothing amazingly original but tastes very good!

            1. I have a shell-shaped plaque (not the madeleine one, more a scallop) that makes beautiful shortbread. I like pecan shortbread because it's so delicious and smells so wonderful. Pistachio shortbread would be pretty for Christmas (ah, I see this has been mentioned already).

              Also have a collection of heart-shaped refrigerator cookie molds (from bridge sets), and shortbread is good from these.