Second Annual Christmas Cookie Baking Blitz
Today was a balmy 65 degree Winter Solstice (and no, I'm not back in the South), but despite the unseasonable start to winter, the winter holiday season is in full swing in the Yankee Baker household. The Christmas tree is up and decorated, presents are piling up beneath it, Yankee Dog is in his jingly holly collar and most importantly, Christmas cookies have been baked. This year we feature 3 new recipes for you to add to your repertoire.
First up: classic shortbread. The best shortbread I've ever had were the Walker's lemon-currant nibbles I had as part of my picnic lunches when I went pony trekking in Scotland. This is not that caliber shortbread, but it is pretty tasty. And pretty easy to make. After preheating your oven to 325, combine 1 1/4 cup flour and 3 tablespoons white sugar in a mixing bowl. Using a pastry cutter, cut in 1/2 cup butter until the mixture is crumbly. (Funny story: because of my former roommate's lack of knowledge in the kitchen, my pastry cutter has seen more use as a pizza cutter.) Once the butter is cut in, knead the mixture till it is smooth, then form into a ball. You now have a couple choices in terms of shaping your shortbread. Option A: press the ball flat on an ungreased round cookie sheet. pinch the edges into a fancy scallop and slice into wedges. Bake 25-35 minutes. Recut your wedges while the shortbread is still warm. Allow to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Option B: on a lightly floured surface (as lightly floured as possible--you don't want a lot of extra flour added to your dough), press then roll your dough to 1/2". Cut into rounds or shapes with cookie cutters. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes.
|Cute cutout shortbreads.|
Second is a variation on our shortbread: spiced shortbread. I was originally going to do a gingerbread, but deciding between a crunchy gingerbread and a soft gingerbread was too much (I'm bad at decisions! Don't judge). Spiced shortbread was a happy resolution. The method is exactly the same as above; however, to your flour, add 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves. Deeeeeelish!
|Fancy formed spiced shortbreads.|
|Best kitchen gadget ever. This little ninja makes chopping roly poly cranberries super easy.|
|So pretty. Much delicious!|
Happy Christmas, y'all!
|Yankee Dog and his jingle holly collar wish you happy ho-ho-holidays!|