When I was in high school, I volunteered to teach third-grade Bible school.
I naively chose third grade because I thought the students would be mature enough to not get out of hand but young enough to not be boring.
I was definitely right about the second part and horribly, horribly wrong about the first.
As a part of the week, I decided to make homemade playdough with the kids. I always loved homemade playdough as a child, and I figured it would be a piece of cake.
Let’s fast-forward to the end of the story: I had a major mess to clean up in the church basement (surprise, surprise), but we did get to play with the homemade dough, and I learned some very valuable lessons about dealing with children.
I was reminded of this moment this week when I rolled cookie dough for this week’s recipe. It was thick and easy to mold, and I was glad there were no third-graders around.
This recipe comes from the blog “The Semisweet Sisters.” You can find the original at http://www.thesemisweetsisters.com/2015/07/23/vanilla-shortbread-cookies-4-ingredients/. I doubled the vanilla in my version.
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Vanilla Shortbread Cookies
2 cups flour
2 sticks butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla
Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until smooth.
Mix in the flour until all ingredients are well-incorporated.
Place the dough in the refrigerator for about 20 to 30 minutes (I got distracted and left mine in there for a few hours).
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Scoop the dough into one-inch balls. Flatten them with the bottom of a glass to about one-half inch thick.
Place on a cookie sheet and bake 12 to 15 minutes. (They’re better if you don’t let them get browned around the edges.)
Store in an airtight container.
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If you’re looking for cookies with lots of flavor, these are not going to satisfy your craving. Even with doubling the vanilla, these were very light-flavored. But, true to shortbread form, they were nice and crumbly, and we really enjoyed them.
Joey experimented with every sweet condiment in our kitchen and landed on orange marmalade being his favorite pairing for these. My vote was to eat them with some ice cream or a cup of tea, but they’re also pretty darn good by themselves.
And, as a bonus, you can play with the dough a little bit, too. Just be careful if you let any third-graders help you. Things could quickly get out of hand.
Lindsey Young is managing editor of The Clarion, the Kansas Publishing Ventures newspaper in Andale. She can be reached at email@example.com.