Refined sugar-free, these velvet shortbread cookies are made with organic mascabado sugar. They are full of buttery flavor and have a crumbly melt-in-your-mouth texture that few other cookies can deliver. I halved the original family recipe. Feel feel to double it. It's worth it!
1cupmascabado sugar(150 g) (alternatively use coconut sugar)
To make the homemade powdered sugar:
Pour the mascobado sugar and arrowroot powder into a high-powdered blender. Start on low-speed and gradually work your way up to the highest speed until the sugar is a fine, powdered sugar and light brown in color. It will take a couple of minutes to powder the sugar.
You may want to tap on the blender lid help any powdery sugar settle to the bottom.
To make the velvet shortbread:
Preheat the oven to 325°F / 160°C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Sift all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. NOTE: Sifting the dry ingredients is very important!
Cream the butter. Using an electric hand mixer, beat the butter until creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the creamed butter to the flour mixture.
Work with hands until smooth. I put the timer on for 20 minutes and knead it with my hands. At first the dough will be sticky but as you continue to work it, it becomes more elastic and smooth. (See note below).
Form the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 2 hours.
Roll out the dough about 0.5 cm thick and cut with cookie cutters. Or you can just make balls and squish them with a fork. Place on the prepared cookie sheet lined about 1-2 cm apart.
Bake until light golden; about 18-20 minutes. Check after 15 minutes, as depending on the oven they can burn quickly.
I only have one baking sheet so I bake my cookies in the middle of the oven. But if you want to do two batches at once then position the oven racks in middle and upper third of oven, and be sure to switch the positions of the baking sheets half way through the baking time.
Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for a minute before transferring to a wire rack to fully cool. Stored in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.
My aunt swears that the key to a velvety shortbread is to work the dough with your hands rather than an electric mixer. Instead of kneading by hand you could use the dough hook in a food processor. However, I tried it once and the hand kneading really makes a difference to the smoothness and melt in your mouth quality.
In between baking the batches I pop the dough back into the fridge to keep it cool, which makes it easier to work with. Once the cookies in the oven are almost done I start cutting the next batch and place them on a cutting board lined with parchment paper. This makes it easy to slide the freshly cut batch onto the baking sheet so you can pop them into the oven right away. This also prevents them from melting on the already hot baking sheet as you are cutting them.
My cookies never last long, but I told they also freeze well! Enjoy!