Take a look at those shortbread cookies. They are so fancy and pretty! How to get the design on them? All you have to do is stamp them before baking. It is as simple as rolling dough into balls and then pressing them out. The cookies have an elegant touch without having to decorate with frosting or royal icing. You can take it one step further by painting them with food coloring. I prefer them unpainted with the subtle design plus I am not so good with painting. I would probably make more of a mess than anything.
I discovered cookie stamps last year. I was looking for hummingbird decorated or shaped cookies to bake for a friend. I needed recipes, cookie cutters, and inspiration on decorating. My internet search for the decorating part resulted in hundreds of brightly colored images. Buried in all that color was one that caught my attention. It was simple. It was unique. I had to find out more. A couple of clicks took me to Rycraft’s Cookie Stamp website. Shortly thereafter my order was placed and I could not wait for the stamps and their catalog to arrive.
Shortbread cookies are the best for stamps. You want to avoid using cookie doughs with baking powder, baking soda, or eggs because the designs will not hold well when the cookie rises. Refrigerating the stamped dough about 20 minutes before baking helps too. The little booklet that comes with the stamps is full of recipes, tips, and other uses for the stamps. There are lots of craft projects you can do with them. I adapted their cookie stamp shortbread recipe by adding vanilla for flavoring and salt because I use unsalted butter.
Pretty cookies are even nicer served on fancy plates. The one in the picture is from my German Sammeltassen collection. It is the first time I have actually used the plate which is sad in a way. I have had them for years. They somehow got into the category of display pieces instead of dinnerware. It probably happened because of being stored behind glass doors in my dining room. They were hiding in plain sight. I have to thank Nan, @SilverMagpies, who opened my eyes to see them after reading her post on displaying vintage silver. My Sammeltassen will be now used and thoroughly enjoyed.
Do you have special pieces you never use? Why not? Take them out, use them, and let them be a part of your life. Bake fancy stamped shortbread and serve them on the good stuff. Turn something ordinary into extraordinary with what you have hiding in cabinets and drawers. Pull out your treasures and brighten any occasion with them today.
- 1½ cups unsalted butter
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- Cooking oil (vegetable or canola)
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Add vanilla and beat to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Add flour gradually, one cup at a time. Mix until well blended, but do not over-mix. Shape dough into a flat disk and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate dough at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Using your hands, roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Stamp dough balls with cookie stamp. Use a toothbrush or pastry brush to lightly oil stamp between each to avoid the dough from sticking to the stamp. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack and cool completely. Store in an airtight container.