Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Piped Butter Cookies (or Whipped Shortbread Cookies)

My family adores the classic piped butter cookies from European bakeries.  Sadly, our local Swiss bakery closed its doors forever on Christmas Eve and we cannot enjoy our favourite European baked goodies from there anymore. 

Making these light, crispy cookies has eluded me for YEARS.  The batter was either too stiff for my hands to pipe from a pastry bag or I would get pools of shapeless blobs.  I am recovering from carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis in my wrists, so my weak hands could not squeeze the tough cookie dough out of the pastry bag.  I stopped trying.  

The other day, I stumbled across a "Whipped Shortbread" recipe. I have not tried whipping the dough for 10 minutes before piping and it required only 3 simple ingredients:  butter, icing sugar and flour. Not the healthiest, but I really wanted to try this.   

I was not sure about whipping the cookie dough for 10 minutes with my powerful KitchenAid stand mixer.  All over the net, this recipe appeared to be a classic, so I assumed that this was written for a hand mixer.  I used my KitchenAid stand mixer and decreased the time to 5 minutes. 

I have only made this once with success and I hope the results are the same every time.  

Whipped Shortbread Cookies
makes about 40 cookies

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup icing sugar (sift before measuring)
1 cup softened butter

- optional:  pieces of glace cherries, chocolate chunks, etc.  

Preheat oven to 350F.  Sift flour and sugar together and set aside.

Beat softened butter with mixer until light and fluffy.  Add dry ingredients gradually on low speed until well mixed then beat the dough for 5-10 minutes until light and fluffy.  

Spoon dough onto cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.  If desired, pipe with a pastry bag and star tip in different shapes onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Optional:  place a piece of cherry onto the middle of each cookie. 

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until edges are very lightly browned.  Let cookies rest on the cookie sheet for a few minutes before placing them on a rack to cool.  

- Adapted from Whipped Shortbread Cookies and Allrecipes.com: Whipped Shortbread Cookies

My personal notes with the KitchenAid stand mixer: 
  • I didn't use softened butter (too impatient), I diced up the cold butter into small pieces and beat it with the paddle attachment for 5 minutes.   
  • After adding the flour/sugar mixture, mix for 2 minutes on low/medium to make dough.  Change to the wire whisk attachment and whip the dough for 5 minutes, instead of 10.  The dough will have a soft, fluffy, aerated texture that makes piping a breeze.  
  • I piped about 1 1/2" sized cookies with the Wilton 1M tip 
  • Decorated with glace cherry pieces and baked for 11-13 minutes until edges were lightly browned.  
  • I always check the cookies about 5 minutes before the recipe says it is done.  Every oven is different.  
  • I was able to make about 60- 1 1/2" sized cookies from this batch.  

Success!  The whipped dough was effortless to pipe for my weak hands.  I placed the dough in a disposable plastic piping bag with a Wilton 1M star tip.  Again, I didn't get a chance to try them as I'm still gluten and dairy-free.  Hubby and the kids told me that they were better than our local Swiss bakery's!  What a way to make mommy's heart sing!


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  1. That Looks so yummy! I want to Try them! Thanks for The recipe <3

  2. Just made these. Wow. My first time using a pastry bag but not a bad result and just delicious. Thank you.

  3. I just made a batch using Otto's Naturals Cassava flour as a sub for the wheat flour.
    Use weight to convert flours, so 215 g of the cassava flour instead of 1 3/4 cup wheat flour!!

  4. These are AMAZING. I added a touch of vanilla, and a pinch of salt. The cookies MELT in your mouth. I piped three different designs and ended up with four different cookies (rosette with a cherry on top, Rosettes that were dipped halfway with chocolate, piped donut shaped dipped in chocolate and sprinkle coated, and piped lady fingers drizzled with chocolate). These were lovely to serve to my guests. I also froze some and thawed them out the next day to see how they were after being frozen.. Still perfect. Thanks!

    1. I pipe my cookies the same styles and dip them halfway too! So happy that this worked for you! Thanks for letting us know that these cookies freeze well too! :)

  5. I'd like to try this recipe but before I do can you clarify if you are using unsalted or salted butter? Thanks!

    1. I use salted butter. If not specified, most recipes usually use salted butter. Good luck!

  6. Can you prepare these cookies in advance and freeze them?

  7. is this possible to do with chocolate less chip cookie dough? then add the chocolate chips in as a layer?(this isn't for the cookies you made but for a sheet of cookie)


Let me know what you think!