Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Christmas Tradition Continues

Every year, we would all look forward to Christmas.  Not only to spend time with family and friends, but for my mother-in-law's melt-in-your-mouth shortbread.  It was divine.  I actually had to hide it from Gary and the kids or I wouldn't even get a piece!

Last year, I didn't get a chance to keep up with Gary's mom's tradition, after she passed in August 2011.  This year, however, I was determined to try.

I poured over hundred of recipes, looking for the perfect combination of simplicity, taste and what-do-I-actually-have-in-my-pantry??  I finally settled on a simple mixture of four ingredients - and never looked back!

Christmas Shortbread
(source unknown)

1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. icing sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1 1/2 c. flour

Original Instructions:
1.  Preheat oven to 375°F.
2.  Whip butter until creamy and light.
3.  Sift dry ingredients into large bowl.  Add to butter gradually, beating on low.  Beat on high for 3-4 minutes.
4.  Pat into traditional shortbread pan (or 8x8" square pan) and prick with fork.
5.  Bake 12-15 minutes - do not brown!

Sue's Notes:
I really just winged it for this recipe and aside from the ingredients and temperature, didn't follow the recipe at all!  Here's what I did:

I did whip the butter until it was very light and full of air.  But I'm lazy when baking and didn't sift the ingredients first.  Heck, I didn't even add them gradually!  I just measured them all out and added them to the butter at once.  I did switch to my dough hook on my Kitchen Aid to mix it all together.  Again, I didn't bother to time it - I just kneaded it until all the dry ingredients were incorporated into the butter evenly.

At this point, I decided I wanted cookies instead of bars so I used my mini ice cream scoop to scoop out even amounts of dough.  I rolled them quickly between my palms to even out the balls and laid them on a cookie sheet, about an inch apart.

My oven was set to 375°F on the convection setting and I cooked them for about 13 minutes.  After removing from oven and letting them sit for a minute or so to cool on the cookie sheet, I transferred them to a rack to cool

The photo above shows the cookies right out of the oven, but after they cooled, I rolled them in icing sugar for a bit more decadence.  The option is yours - they are delicious regardless!

My only complaint was that they were a bit bigger than I wanted.  But I would rather have uniformity (via my mini scoop) over petite-ness (via eyeballing).  As I said before, they are so yummy either way!


P/S:  Don't forget about the following challenges on my blog for a chance to win:
It's a Sketchy Challenge (deadline:  Dec 31/12)
Leave Your Legacy: What You Fear Most (deadline:  Feb 28/13)

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