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Shortbread Cookies

This Month...

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The weather is very cold, yet our hearts are warm. This is a perfect time to heat the oven, and fill our homes with the perfumes of baking. The recipe below is for cookies which can be sliced and made fresh whenever you'd like to spend some happy time in the kitchen, perhaps sharing a cup of tea or cider whilst enjoying the aroma of gladness.

Basic Refrigerator Shortbread Cookies

2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup corn starch
1 cup baking sugar
1/2 pound butter
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
extra sugar for sprinkling

Method for Mixing

Tear two pieces of waxed paper about 16 inches long each. Whisk the egg yolks and vanilla together in a cup, and set aside until needed. Place the dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor which has been fitted with a metal blade. Process for 30 seconds to mix. Add the butter and pulse until mixture is the consistency of corn meal. Add the egg yolk mixture and pulse the dough until it forms large clumps. Place half the dough on each sheet of waxed paper. Form into compressed logs along one edge, leaving about an inch on each side for sealing. Roll the logs tightly and seal. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 4 days. If you want to keep it longer, the logs can be wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to a month. To thaw, place them in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Don't thaw on a counter or in the microwave, because the dough must be cold when used.

Method for Baking

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with non-stick-coated aluminium foil, parchment, or silicon sheets. Remove a dough log from the refrigerator, and working quickly with a sharp knife, slice 1/4 inch thick, and place the slices 1/2 inch apart on the sheets. Sprinkle the top of the slices lightly with sugar. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or just until the edges start to brown. Using 2 spatulas, remove from the sheets, and place on waxed paper to cool. These should be stored in an air-tight tin at room temperature, and will stay fresh for about 2 weeks.

Additions for Variation

4 tablespoons any citrus zest, to dry ingredients
1 tablespoon ground spice such as cinnamon, cardamom, or ginger: to dry ingredients
3 tablespoons caraway seeds, to dry ingredients
substitute any flavor extract such as almond, orange, or lemon: for one teaspoon of the vanilla
substitute 2 tablespoons each molasses and freshly grated ginger root for one of the egg yolks
substitute 1/3 cup cocoa powder for an equal amount of the cornstarch

2010 Eddy Robey

Copyright 2002 Eddy Robey
Excerpts from It's Not Just Chicken Soup.
hosted by the Gantseh Megillah

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