With this simple shortbread recipe, you can make six different holiday cookies to share.
Photographs by Mark WeinbergFood Styling by Yossy Arefi
What is the single most important ingredient in a great cookie tin? Variety, of course.
And it’s much easier than you think to achieve. This forgiving dough turns into the most delicious shortbread by itself — and then can transform into a number of cookies: clever snappy, jammy, tender, chocolaty treats in different sizes, shapes and designs.
You can certainly take on one recipe at a time, or you can make all six in a single day. To prepare impromptu batches throughout the season, keep the dough wrapped in the refrigerator and bring it out when cravings strike. You probably already have most of the additions for the variations — they’re pantry staples — but stock up on more for endless cookies.
With these recipes, a gift-worthy set of shortbreads is just a few bakes away.
Some cookie tin advice from our friends at Wirecutter
If you choose to gift your cookies in a tin, it’s better to buy them in person than to sift through the options on Amazon (which may be overpriced). For a simple, elegant look, Michaels and the Container Store sell plain silver tins in a variety of sizes. For those who prefer prints, Target and Ikea have the least expensive and most attractive patterned tins I’ve seen. If you want to order packaging online, consider getting petite 6-by-6-inch windowed pastry boxes (which you’ll need to line with wax paper) or windowed paper bakery bags, either of which could be dressed up with a nice ribbon and a gift tag. — Marguerite Preston