Christmas Gifts From The Kitchen: Button Hole Shortbread Cookies

This is the last post in this weeks series of Christmas Gifts from the Kitchen. At first glance you might wonder if I just pulled my sewing kit out and placed a few buttons and thread on a plate but take a closer look! They're shortbread button cookies! How cool is that huh?

I saw a similar recipe in a recent magazine and I couldn't help but want to re-create them using my own trusty shortbread recipe. They are super cute and who wouldn't want to receive these for Christmas! Shortbread are one of my favourite Christmas recipes - I have a penchant for buttery, melt-in-your-mouth shortbread and Christmas is the perfect time to make these delicious button cookies. I remember when I was younger my grandparents would always have a tin full of different shaped shortbread cookies and I loved eating all the different shapes - I could never pass up a shortbread.... until I was diagnosed with dairy intolerance. I made these cookies with a dairy free butter so I can indulge a little over the Christmas period.

If you think there is a lot of work involved in making these cookies then think again. They are very simple to make and only require a handful of ingredients and utensils. After making the dough you simply roll out to 1- 1.5cm thick and cut out rounds using a cookie cutter. Place the cut out rounds onto a lined baking tray.

Using a the next size down cookie cutter simply indent the top of the cookies with the cutter to create a smaller circle on the inside of the cookie. Be careful not to cut all the way through the dough.

Once you have created the indents on all the cookies then use a straw to cut out four small button holes in the center of the cookies. This straw technique also works well in cutting holes when creating dough ornaments like I did for my Christmas tree.

These cookies go down a treat with a nicely brewed cup of tea. I love brewing tea the old fashioned way with tea leaves and a tea pot but when I am in a hurry I concede and use a tea bag. Oh the snobbery of it all.

These cookies do not cost a lot to make so they make the perfect budget gift from the kitchen. Place them in a brown paper bag and tie with some kitchen twine, add a cute tag and you are set. I would recommend wrapping them in some waxed paper first before placing them in the paper bag. The high butter content in the cookies create "oily" stains on the paper bag and you don't want to mess up your pretty packet with oily stains!

These cookies are a biscuit with a difference and will certainly make for some great table conversation over the Christmas break. I can't wait to make these for our little boy when he grows up a little more. I can imagine what fun he will have helping me cut them out and making messes in the kitchen with me - not to mention gobbling them up once they're cooled from the oven with a glass of milk.

Christmas this year at The Whimsical Wife is going to be so much more special than previous years. We have a "little person" to share it with. You see things in a different light now - it all becomes a little bit more exciting. You want to share in each first experience with your special little person and it makes everything a lot more FUN! Putting up the Christmas tree was a much more special occasion. To see his reaction when the lights are turned on and the wonder and awe in his little face as he watches the lights twinkle and change tempo. He is just starting to become a lot more inquisitive in looking at the world around him and with all the Christmas decorations about I imagine the world looks like a very magical place at the moment.

It was extremely hard not to go overboard in the present department this year but we kept things simple and bought a clam shell pool for the little fella to play in. I'm sure he will get spoilt from the grand-parents and extended family.

Shortbread Button Cookie
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10-15 min
Makes: 24-30 Cookies

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 2 Tbsp cornflour
  • Extra flour for kneading
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius, and line 2 large cookie trays with baking paper. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl of an electric mixer place the butter, icing sugar and vanilla and beat until light and creamy.
  3. Sift the flours over the butter mixture and stir well until combined and a soft dough forms.
  4. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured bench and knead until smooth.
  5. *If it is very hot and humid place the dough into the fridge for 5-10 minutes to chill down before kneading and rolling out*
  6. Place the dough between two sheets of baking paper and roll to about 5mm thick.
  7. Cut out rounds with a cookie cutter and place onto the lined cookie trays. Press together and re-roll and repeat with the rest of the dough.
  8. Using a slightly smaller cookie cutter make indents in into the cut out cookies on the cookie tray. Be careful not to go all the way through.
  9. Using a straw cut out four holes in the center of the cookie to create the button holes.
  10. Place into oven and cook for 10-15 minutes or until just turning golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool before removing from the trays onto a cooling rack.
  11. Eat immediately or package the cookies up in small boxes or jars and finish off with ribbon and a bow as a gift.
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