Homemade goodies are some of the most tempting and least resistible things we encounter. When one of the ingredients is love and the rest are mainly butter and sugar, it can be hard to say “no thanks.” Especially when sweets are gifted to you.
But what do you do if somehow, miraculously, you end up empty-handed and need to make something at the last minute?
You scour the cupboards: The kids ate the rest of the chips, you already polished off the crackers and goat cheese, and if it’s the holiday season, you’ve put off shopping for as long as possible because the stores are full of crazed customers intent on going for that same last can of condensed milk.
You do have three ingredients, though, that are staples of the baking world: butter, sugar, flour. In about an hour, you can turn these unassuming basics into delicious cookies and no one will be the wiser.
One video that has gotten quite a bit of attention was posted by Joyce Yvonna on YouTube in 2013. People have been commenting on it and trying their hand at these super-easy cookies ever since.
She’s posted the recipe on her blog as well so we can follow the directions at our own pace. You’ll need 3/4 cup of room-temperature butter, 1/2 cup of superfine sugar, and 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour.
Superfine sugar is not the same thing as granulated sugar or powdered sugar; it’s somewhere in between. Don’t have it? That’s fine! Throw the same amount of granulated sugar (plus a little extra) into a food processor and pulse until it’s a finer consistency.
If you use powdered sugar instead in this recipe, you get a traditional favorite: shortbread. Yes, these are essentially shortbread cookies.
To start, you combine the butter and sugar and mix until fluffy. Then, add in the flour and mix until it’s the consistency of crumbs.
Move the mixture to a workspace and press it together until it holds its shape, then carefully mold it into a long rectangular shape (think multiple sticks of butter, lined up one after the other).
All that’s left after that is to coat the outside with sugar (because why not) and put the dough somewhere chilly until it’s firm. Then cut it up, cook the dough squares and enjoy!
Chilling cookie dough is generally a good thing. Not only will the cookies hold their shape better and be easier to cut without crumbling, but the fats also solidify and take longer to melt, which means that your cookies will be more compact when you cook them instead of turning into runny pancake disappointments.
Some people have gotten creative with this recipe and added in things like vanilla or chocolate chips. At its heart, though, it’s a classic — simple and delicious.
Have you tried a recipe like this? What did you think?
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