I find that when I’m not well, the things that frustrate me the most is not being able to work or do any of my usual productive things (like podcast) – and yet baking something simple is not only productive but soothing, with the added bonus of something to nibble on as I hang off the couch drearily watching daytime television, snuffling into tissues and inhaling mint tea.


These Make Me Happy Shortbread Cookies:
3 cups (375 grams) plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
250 grams room-temperature unsalted butter (I usually throw in the entire packet)
3/4 cup (90 grams) powdered (confectioners or icing) sugar
1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract
Assorted fillings to taste

Beat the butter until smooth and creamy; add the sugar and beat until smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla extract, stir in flour and salt until you have cookie dough. Put in assorted fillings (I usually use muesli, glace cherries, chocolate drops, but they’re fine plain) and either roll out dough to cut shapes into it for cookies or hand-pat them into cookie circles.

Preheat oven to 230 degrees F (110 degrees C) – line baking trays with baking paper, place cookies with about three cm distance (1 inch) away from each other. Cook for 15 minutes; cool on a wire rack. Makes around twenty cookies.

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