Archive for November 30th, 2011

Can you tell I’m preparing for a Christmas Cookie Exchange?!!  This shortbread recipe has become another regular Christmas time favourite in our house.  It’s a little bit of a process having to constantly refrigerate these cookies (as per the original recipe) and admittedly I don’t do it as much as the recipes calls for because seriously who has all day to make cookies?!  And so I did it my way and they turn out just fine!  The orange & nutmeg lends a delicious flavour to these cookies.

Adapted from Canadian Living

Orange Nutmeg Shortbread Stars

1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 tsp finely grated orange rind (I typically use a whole orange)
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup icing sugar

Preheat oven to 300F (150C)

In large bowl beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Stir in cornstarch, orange rind, nutmeg and salt until blended. Add flour one-third at a time, stirring to make smooth dough.

Between waxed or parchment paper roll out dough on a cookie sheet or cutting board to 1/2 inch thickness. Refrigerate as is for approx. 30 minutes.

Using floured star cookie cutter (1 1/2 inch), cut out shapes, rerolling scraps and cutting out cookies as you go. Place about 1 inch apart on parchment lined baking sheets.

Put one baking sheet on top and one on the bottom thirds of oven baking for 6 minutes then switch and rotate pans. Bake for another 6 minutes. Switch & rotate pans again. Here is where you start baking 1-2 minutes at a time watching for the bottoms to brown slightly. In my oven my stars take approx. 13-15 minutes.

Let cookies cool in pans for about 5 minutes then transfer to racks. Using a sprinkler/shaker/colander shake/sprinkle the icing sugar all over the cookies while they are sitting on the rack and while they are still warm. I find this helps the icing sugar adhere to and stay on the cookie.

Lastly try not to eat them all at once ;).  Makes approximately 3 dozen.

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I started making this recipe a couple years ago when my Mother-In-Law came for Christmas.  We loved having her here and wish she could come during the holidays more often.  It’s a lovely variation of a shortbread cookie and comes via the cook book Anna and Michael Olson Cook at Home.

Cherry Walnut Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups candied red & green cherries, halved/quartered
3/4 cup walnut pieces

In bowl beat butter with icing sugar until fluffy. Add in egg and vanilla beating to combine. Next dump in your flour & salt stirring until everyone is happy. Finally add in your cherries & walnuts. Divide your dough into thirds and shape each section into a 10 inch long log. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until firm – at least 3 hours.

Preheat your oven to 325F (160C)

With a sharp knife cut logs into 1/8 inch thick rounds. This is really thin and mine end up between 1/8 & 1/4 inch thick…it still works fine. Place on prepared baking sheets (covered with parchment paper), approx. 1 inch apart. Bake in top and bottom thirds of oven, rotating and switching pans halfway through just until edges begin to colour. Watch them carefully – every oven is different!

Bake 8-10 minutes. Let cool in pan a few minutes and transfer to cooling rack. These cookies freeze very well. Layer with wax or parchment paper in airtight container for up to one month.

Makes approximately 11 dozen cookies.

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