Trefoils Shortbread Recipe

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Trefoil: the classic Girl Scout Cookie.  This copycat recipe is so easy to follow, you’ll want to memorize it.   It’s the last shortbread recipe you’ll ever need and the basis for several other Girl Scout cookie recipes, including Samoas and Tagalongs!

While it’s good to support your local scouts, according to girlscouts.org, only about 10% of all cookie sales actually go to support the troop.   Plus, sometimes you just need a cookie, even when it’s not in season!

 
 

Step 1: Ingredients

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There are lots of copycat recipes out there.  Let me save you the time and effort by sharing my favorite one here.  It’s found on several other websites too!

  • 228g (1 cup)  butter, room temperature
  • 115g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 250g (2 cups) all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons (1oz) milk
 
 

Step 2: Mix!

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Cream together your butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Slowly add this to the butter mixture.  

Finally, at low speed, add in the milk and vanilla. 

Separate the dough into halves and wrap in plastic or store in tupperware.  Refrigerate until the dough is as firm as a stick of butter. 

 
 

Step 3: Cut!

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Now is the time to preheat your oven to 350F (180C)  and line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners.  Remember that you can re-use parchment sheets between batches!

Once your dough is firm enough to roll out without making a big mess (oh you’ll figure that out pretty quickly), roll dough on lightly floured surface.
 

Lots of places will tell you to roll it out between sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap.  Please, dear readers, save yourself the heartache, and do it the way Grandma did.  This dough is made to be soft enough to withstand the incorporation of more flour during this phase.  
 

Once your dough is rolled to about 1/8″ – 1/4″ thickness, use a cookie cutter to cut out whatever shapes your heart desires.  Re-roll the scraps and repeat.

As you move the cut cookies onto your cookie tray, you will again be grateful you used a floured surface instead of waxed paper.  This stuff gets sticky fast!

 
 

Step 4: Bake!

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Bake your batches of cookies one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet 180 degrees, halfway through baking.  This ensures that all the cookies turn the same color instead of getting browner in the hotter parts of your oven.

Cool your cookies on the sheet for about 5 minutes, and transfer to a wire rack.  Don’t have a wire rack?  That’s ok.  But think about getting one – they make all your baking look cooler.  

Let cookie sheets cool before putting new cookies to be baked on them.

 
 

Step 5: Share!

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Now you’ve mastered the perfect shortbread.  Pass them off as your own Homemade Trefoils!  

Are you ready to graduate to Tagalongs and Samoas?  Have a blast!

 
 

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