Introduction: Making Fun Shortbread Cookies in a Dorm Room!
Baking is not all that easy in college- especially when you don't have a kitchen at your disposal. However, these challenges will not stop you from making delicious treats! It is still possible to make cookies without a kitchen, and with everyday utensils.
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients
You will need:
1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
This will yield approximately 10 cookies.
Also, preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
I used a small and cheap toaster oven that I keep to reheat food... it worked out fine for me, but the cookies come out a tad uneven, so be prepared to rotate the pan if need be!
Step 2: "Creaming" the Butter and the Sugar
Normally, I would use an electric mixer for this step. Since I don't have one with me in my dorm room, I opted for a fork. This step takes a little bit longer when using a fork, but the end result is the same.
Add the butter and the sugar in a relatively large bowl. Use the fork to "smoosh" the butter and the sugar together, until the sugar is completely mixed in with the butter. At the same time, try to fluff up the butter with the fork.
Step 3: Vanilla Time!
Add in the vanilla extract, and stir well.
Step 4: Flour and Salt
In a separate bowl, add in the flour and salt. Ideally, one would sift together these ingredients. For this step, I just used a fork, and used the same fluffing method that I used in the butter and sugar step.
Add the flour mixture into the butter mixture in installments. (Do not dump all of the flour mixture into the butter mixture at one time!!!! ) Fold in the flour mixture until it is just combined, and repeat wtih the rest of the flour. Overmixing and stirring with too much vigor will make the cookies tough, so try to be as gentle as possible!
The consistency of the dough should be crumbly.
Step 5: Refrigerate!
Dump your cookie dough onto a sheet of saran wrap (if you have any). The only substitute I could find was aluminum foil, and that worked out fine for me. Also, gallon-sized ziplock bags work too!
Press your dough out into a large rectangle, and chill the dough for about 30 min.
Step 6: Cut Out Your Shapes
After 30 min has elapsed, take your dough out of the refrigerator. Roll the dough out to about half an inch thick.
Since I did not have a rolling pin, I covered a bottle of hairspray with foil, and used that... it works!
Cut your dough into whichever shape(s) you like. On this day, I decided to cut out fish shapes.
Sidenote: Avoid handling the dough too much- melted cookie dough is not good eats!
Step 7: Bake Your Cookies
Put your newly cut cookies into the oven, and bake for 20-25 min.
The cooking time may vary a little bit between ovens. Just set a timer for 20 min and watch your cookies so that they don't overbake!
The cookies should be light in color and still soft to the touch. DO NOT bake them until they are firm.
Step 8: The Fun Part!
Now, decorate your cookies!
I picked up a kit of cake icing, but you can make your own icing too. (If you are looking to save a couple of dollars, I would suggest opting for pre-made icing. )