These little tea cookies have been a holiday staple for the last 10 years or so. I still don’t recall where the recipe came from, but the first time I made them and had my mom and grandma give them a taste test, they declared that these were a must-make going forward. The cookies are a fantastic buttery shortbread loaded with miniature chocolate chips. They’re more soft and tender, less crisp and crumbly, than traditional shortbread, which I love.
I adore these little cookies for multiple reasons, the first of which is that they are extremely easy to make. I typically use my hand mixer for them and give my KitchenAid a break, which is a nice change of pace if you’re churning out tons of cookies and candy during the holidays. They are mixed together in less than 10 minutes and spend less than 15 minutes in the oven. I like to balance my Christmas baking list with things that are simple and less time consuming to compensate for the more labor-intensive recipes.
The second reason I love these cookies? They’re truly tea cookies, which means that they are itty-bitty and that I feel no guilt downing multiple cookies in one sitting the way I would with my favorite ginormous chocolate chip cookies. Their size also makes them perfect for a cookie tray, when people like to take a sampling of different cookies. Again, for some reason, eating numerous small cookies just does not seem to consume people with guilt. Win!
Do you have a favorite super-simple go-to holiday recipe?
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
Beat the butter, sugar and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add the vanilla and mix well. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the miniature chocolate chips.
Shape into 1-inch balls (a small cookie scoop is perfect for this) and place 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until set but still pale in color. Allow to cool on the sheets for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.