Posts Tagged ‘shortbread’

Christmastime is for Cookies again…

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Last year I went kind of crazy with Christmas cookies, but between following Weight Watchers and how busy things have been, holiday baking just hasn’t been a priority. Which is not to say that I haven’t made some delicious treats.

As a repeat of last year, I made Alton Brown’s Paradise Coconut Macaroons. They turned out well again, and David’s still happily munching on them. The one hiccup was that as I went to make the cookies, I realized I was out of sweetened condensed milk. Luckily, I found a substitution recipe online that worked perfectly, using ingredients we already had on hand. Success! Check it out at the bottom of the page if you’re interested.

I also made peppermint bark again, and my friend Cara came over and made mock-turtles. Very tasty, very simple, and with her perfect football-shaped pretzels, very cute. You may hear more about that soon.

But the point of this post is the new recipe I tried this year: Shortbread. The most recent issue of Food Network Magazine had an awesome little pullout booklet of 50 cookie recipes. The gist of the pamplet is summed up here. What I liked about it is that you started with just a handful of classic, straightforward recipes, followed by several creative variations on the same recipe. I took the classic Shortbread recipe and doubled it, making one batch of Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread and one batch of Lemon Shortbread Squares. I tweaked the basic recipe to get the texture that I wanted, and was very happy with the instructions below. It’s for the Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread, but if you want plain shortbread, skip the chocolate dipping steps, and if you want it to have a little bit of bright, lemony flavor, add a little bit of fresh lemon zest with the flour mixture.

Chocolate-Dipped Shortbread

  • 2 sticks butter (preferably unsalted. If using salted butter, omit additional salt below)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradhelli)
  • flake sea salt

Beat 2 sticks butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Whisk 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt, then stir into the butter mixture. Press into a buttered 8-inch square or 9-inch round tart pan. Score into strips with a fork, then chill 30 minutes. Bake about 1 hour at 300 degrees. Cool, then slice along the scored lines.

Melt bittersweet chocolate in a double boiler. Dip cooled shortbread pieces in chocolate, and sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Sweetened Condensed Milk Substitute

  • 1 cup instant non-fat dry milk
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

In a blender, combine ingredients and blend until smooth. Store in refrigerator until ready to use. Makes the equivalent of one 14 ounce cane.

      Title: SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK SUBSITUTE
 Categories: Misc, Sauces
      Yield: 1 Servings

      1 c  Instant non-fat dry milk
    2/3 c  Sugar
    1/3 c  Boiling water
      3 tb Melted butter

  In a blender, combine ingredients and blend until smooth. Store in
  refrigerator until ready to use. Makes the equivalent of one 14 oz.
  can.