By our definition, butter cookies are simple, showing off the most basic baking ingredients ― butter, sugar, and flour ― to their very best advantage. In this chapter, you'll find several types of butter cookies, from crumbly, toasted shortbread, to light, powdered sugar-dusted tea cakes, also known as "meltaways" or "wedding cakes." All of the cookies in this chapter have a rich buttery flavor that makes them perfect for savoring, either on their own or with a cup of tea.
• Expect the dough mixture for shortbread and tea cakes to look dry and crumbly before it comes together.
• If the dough becomes sticky as you work, chill it until firm but still pliable.
• A food processor is an easy way to mix these kinds of doughs. If you use a standing electric mixer, fit it with the paddle attachment.
• If mixing by hand, use a sturdy wooden spoon or your hands to mix until the dry ingredients are completely incorporated into the butter mixture.