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Henri's Bakery's Shortbread Cookies

For the cookies:
1 C. granulated sugar
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 C. vegetable shortening
6 egg yolks
4 C. cake flour
2 t. salt
2 t. vanilla extract

For the fondant filling:
1/2 C. granulated sugar
1/4 C. water
2 T. light corn syrup
2 C. powdered sugar
Food coloring (optional)

To make cookies:
With an electric mixer on low speed, cream sugar with butter and shortening until thoroughly combined. Slowly add egg yolks. Scrape the bowl and add flour, salt and vanilla. Scrape bowl again to make sure ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for several hours. Preheat oven to 350F. Roll out the dough a little at a time into log shapes the thickness of a roll of quarters. (Keep the remainder refrigerated.) Cut off pieces about 1 1/2 inches in length. Place pieces cut side up on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Flatten each piece and make a depression in the middle using your finger or a dowel. Bake for 15 minutes or until slightly brown around edges. Cool completely on rack.

Prepare fondant filling.
Boil sugar and water until dissolved. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer and add corn syrup and powdered sugar. Mix on low speed until smooth. Fondant should be thick yet pourable. Correct the consistency with more powdered sugar or corn syrup if necessary. Tint with color if desired.

Using a small spoon or decorating bag, place fondant in center of each cookie. Fondant will harden upon standing.

Makes 60.

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