Cooking while Autistic: Cinnamon Shortbread Profane

It may sound involved. But it’s freaking easy. With a half hour notice, I can have them coming out of the oven when grandkids arrive…

Make the powdered sugar beforehand so you can throw cookies in the oven still chilled. Besides, you’re gonna find a million things to put powdered cinnamon sugar on… See below.

Prep time 10 mins or so
Refrigeration ~10mins
Baking: ~15 mins
Total: Half hour to Bliss


1 stick salted butter, room temperature (or add a pinch of salt, if you use unsalted)

2/3 c powdered cinnamon sugar (I make my own in a blender, see below)

2 c unbleached flour (Robin Hood or King Arthur or fresh local or similar. Better the flour, the more amazing the cookie, but any flour will work)

Egg wash topping

1 whole egg
1 t water
1/8 t each cinnamon & vanilla extract (almond & rum also nice)

Cinnamon sugar topping

~1/2 c powdered cinnamon sugar (see below)


0. Start preheating oven to 300.

1. In a large bowl mush up the butter to soften. Add powdered sugar. Mush together to make smooth paste (creaming).

2. Add the flour. With your hands, mix the ingredients till no loose flour left and mix has consistency of tiny peas. (Just squeeze it between your fingers.)

3. Knead SLIGHTLY. Just enough to make a crumbly dough ball. If you knead too much, cookies are tough, not crumbly. (But still taste great!)

4. In a lined cookie pan, press or roll the dough to about 1/4-1/2 in. Too thin they come out like crackers. Too thick they’re doughy in middle. I line the pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Greasing the pan hasn’t worked for me.

5. Chill in freezer for ~10 mins or refrigerate half hour or so. Make the egg wash while you wait…. Just whisk whole egg, extracts & water in small bowl til they’re lemony yellow.

6. Remove from freezer. Quickly brush egg wash over the top. (Or smear it with back of spoon.)

7. With a sharp knife, slice the dough into squares or rectangles. Fairly small, inch or so. Other wise, they’ll break when you take em out. Poke a fork into each cookie twice. This lets the steam escape for lighter, crumbly cookies. (I can do this all quickly, after having practiced. If it takes you awhile the first time, you might want to throw the cookie pan back in the freezer for a few minutes, so cookies hold shape during baking.)

8. Sprinkle the top with the powdered cinnamon sugar.

9. Bake 12 minutes at 300 on a MIDDLE rack. I actually use two metal cookie pans, one atop the other. This insulates the cookies on the bottom, so you never worry about burning. If you use a glass or ceramic pan, you don’t have to worry.)

10. Turn the oven to broil for 2-3 mins. This means the centers will be slightly soft, but the edges will be slightly brown for maximum flavor). I like the powdered sugar to partially melt. This makes the topping have little droplets of carmalized sugar AND powdered sugar. Man, perfection….

11. Allow cookies to cool! Or they WILL crumble! If you are storing in air tight container, cool to room temperature. If you want a great taste treat, cool till they are just warm to your touch. They won’t crumble, but they WILL melt in your mouth.

12. TRY not to eat them all in one sitting.

How to make cinnamon powdered sugar:

Throw granulated table sugar in a blender. I use “blonde” natural sugar cuz it tastes good. Pulse it at high speed 1 or 2 mins, or until it has the consistency you want. If you have extra, put in airtight jar. Add a crumpled up coffee filter to absorb moisture so the sugar stays dry & powdery.

To make powdered cinnamon sugar, chop up three cinnamon sticks. Throw it in a blender. Add 1 c granulated sugar. Pulse until smooth powder. Takes a little longer, so you don’t have cinnamon chunks. Store what you don’t use.

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