Shortbread Thank you Cookies

I’ve read a lot online in the past two weeks; I’m sure you have, too. There’s been a lot going on. I refer, of course, to the pandemic. My son is now on extended leave from school, because his teachers need extra time to focus on creating an online curriculum. In the meantime, I’ve created a rough guide to get us through our days. There’s exercise, reading, writing and arithmetic. There’s art, and STEM (Lego), and digital tech. Sometimes, there’s even cooking. The only criterion is that he has to eat it (waste not, want not).

Shortbread Thank you CookiesShortbread Thank you CookiesShortbread Thank you Cookies

What I forgot to add to our daily routine was a segment my friend Rosey suggested: communicate love to someone. Aka postcards, Skype call, doing something for someone else. Hence, these cookies. We’re making them for someone else. There will be no waste; on the contrary, there’ll be that lovely side effect of happiness, because for once we’re thinking of someone else, instead of how miserable we are about not seeing our friends until July! If you’re safe at home, why not say thanks to our essential workers?

Shortbread Thank you CookiesShortbread Thank you CookiesShortbread Thank you Cookies

There are a few crucial roles that must be maintained throughout the pandemic, like doctors, nurses, teachers, cleaners. We all know people in these roles. Why not make a batch of cookies (wash your hands first, of course) and then deliver or post them to someone you know who is doing their part to care for patients, educate children, sanitise shopping trolleys, sell groceries, you name it. This is education at its best; when I can teach my child that there are others out there that need loving; who deserve thanks.

Shortbread Thank you CookiesShortbread Thank you Cookies

Shortbread ‘Thank you’ Cookies {vegan, GF}
The easiest shortbread you’ve ever made, attached with a sweet message!

Makes 24 rounds

225 g (7.9 oz) plain (GF or regular) flour, sifted
115 g (4 oz) fine white rice flour, sifted
115 g (4 oz) caster sugar, sifted
1 pinch of salt
225 (7.9 oz) g butter, at room temperature (I used Nuttelex)

500 g white fondant
Vegetable shortening
Thank you’ stamp
1 pot of lustre dust *
Makeup brush

Preheat oven to 150 deg C (300 F). Combine sieved flours, sugar and salt in a bowl. rub in butter and knead gently until a smooth dough forms. Transfer onto a floured surface and roll out to ¼ inch or ¾ cm thickness. Cut into 2-inch rounds with a floured cutter. Place onto lined trays and prick with a fork. Bake in the oven for 30 – 40 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, break off a lump of fondant and with greased hands, knead until very smooth, soft and pliable (may take up to 10 minutes; be patient). Once ready, place fondant on a greased bench top and roll out quite thin (2mm). Cut rounds with the same cutter you used for the cookies. Dampen one side of each fondant circle with a little water, and place down on a cookie, pressing down lightly and smoothing so that it sticks. Repeat with remaining fondant until each cookie is done.

While the fondant is still pliable, press the ‘Thank you’ stamp into each cookie, pressing hard to make indent quite visible.

In a non-porous bowl, add 1/4 teaspoon of lustre dust and mix in a few drops of vodka. Stir with a spoon, then dip in paintbrush (makeup brush), and using brush, make sweeping brushstrokes across the face of the cookie, aiming to cover the entirety of the words in one stroke. Continue until all cookies are thus painted (making more paint as needed).

Leave to dry, and then package as gifts for some front line workers today!

*If you can’t find lustre dust, you might consider simply using coloured fondant instead.

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