Shortbread Cookies- Banh Quy Bo

Vietnamese food

This recipe is adapted from the recipe “Shortbread Cookies”inside of the package of Wilton’s Push’N Print Cookies and Making Set  They are called Shortbread and have egg yolks.Is it made you confused? you are not alone. Yes, these shortbread cookies have egg yolks and I thought shortbread had no egg.  Hmm do you think Vietnamese cookie naming system is better.  I am a lucky girl growing up and attending schools in a big city surrounded by beautiful bakeries.  These are called by different names follow by original or -banh tay ngot, banh quy bo, banh bich quy, etc. I just have to pick one to call.  Bo is butter, Ngot is sweet.  Banh quy or bich quy is how Biscuit is pronounced in Vietnamese.  Banh Tay implies the cookies’ original source from Western.

Make 2 to 4 dozen cookies depending cookies thickness
The cookie dough
1.5 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 cups all purpose flour
6 egg yolks
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract

1.  In a large bowl, beat the butter with sugar and salt with electric mixer until just blend together about 1 minute on medium speed.  Add egg yolk, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.  Scrap around the bowl 1 or 2 time. Add vanilla, flour, mix until well combined, the dough seems too dry first but it will suddenly come together.  It is ready when the dough starts to clump around the paddle.  Divide dough in half, form each into a flat ball and wrap tightly in plastic wraps.  Refrigerate at least 1 hours, or until dough is easy to handle, or overnight. 
2.  Preheat oven to 375 oF, place rack at center or top of oven, line two baking sheets with parchment paper.   Take chilled dough out one ball t at a time. Let the chilled dough stand at room temperature until soft enough to handle-may need 10-15 minutes for overnight chilled dough. Roll the dough between two layers of plastic wrap or parchment paper.Peel the top parchment layer, put it back and turn over doing the same with the other parchment layer.  Reroll the dough a few more time.  Peel and discard the top parchment paper.  Depress imprint dish into flour (repeat after each use) then cut and imprint cookies. Place cookies 1/2 to 1 in. apart onto parchment lined cookie sheets Gather scraps and roll dough again to make more cookies. Put back in the freezer for 15 minutes  if you do not want the cookies spreading too much. Bake 8-10 minutes until the edges are lightly brown.  Remove from oven and let the cookies cool in baking sheet for a few minutes and transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.  
3.  Decorate with royal icing, sparkling sugar, heart candy, etc. and let the royal icing dry completely several hours or overnight before stacking cookies 
My cookies always get stuck when baking on ungreased baking sheet, if you do not have parchment paper, may grease the baking sheet lightly. 
Butter will be soft enough at room temperature 2-3 hours.

Royal Icing with Egg White
1 egg white
1.5cup powdered or icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Gel colors

Mix all ingredients together with an electric mixer at low speed for 5 minutes.  If the icing is too thick, add more lemon juice to desired consistency. Divide the icing into small bowl and add color with a toothpick- a little at a time. The icing for flooding  which be used to cover and fill a large area needs to be thin and capable running from a spoon and blend in the icing in the bowl in the count 10 seconds and the icing use for piping and drawing needs to be thicker like toothpaste.  Use pasteurized eggs if possible, in the interest of food safety.  You do not need a special tool for simple design.  If you’re totally new just put the icing into a small plastic bag and cut a tiny hole at one corner, squeeze the air out and twist and tie the other end with a plastic band or you fingers and apply icing to the cake.

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