A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over....



Monday, February 28, 2011

Shortbread

Greetings! I've been loving shortbread lately since it takes so few ingredients, is quick to whip up and makes such a light, sweet treat, but wanted to experiment with flavor combinations. Curious as to how brown sugar would work and loving maple and brown sugar, Brown Sugar Shortbread was born.

The texture is crunchier than using powdered sugar, but with a slightly chewy texture. My daughter said they were like eating a block of brown sugar and to that I say, what's your point?

Maple Brown Sugar Shortbread
2 sticks unsalted* butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups A/P flour
3/4 teas salt
1/2 teas maple extract
*If using salted butter, decrease salt to 1/2 teas.
Preheat oven to 325d. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or cover with parchment paper. Sift flour and salt together and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter until fluffy, add sugar and continue to beat until well mixed and and fluffy. Beat in Maple flavoring. Scrap down sides as needed throughout process. Add flour mixture and beat on low until flour is incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. If desired, roll in graham crumbs. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes. Bake 20 minutes until cookies are just starting to color (bottoms will be lightly browned). Cool on wire rack. When completely cool, dip tops into Maple Glaze, twirling slightly and let glaze dry. Store air tight. Makes about 30-40cookies.

Crunchy Coating: This is purely optional. I just happened to have some left from a previous recipe and decided to try it with this shortbread. Any leftovers can be used for oatmeal, ice cream or muffin topping, or in a desperate situation, eating with a spoon. It also worked as a coating for sliced bananas, dipped in butter, coated, than baked.

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (if you don't have the boxed crumbs, pulse six whole graham crackers in a food processor (or in a baggy with a hammer) until finely crushed.)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 TBLS butter or margarine, melted
Mix cracker crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter in a bowl until well combined and crumbly. Store air tight in cool place.

Maple Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teas. Maple flavoring
3-4 TBLS milk
Add flavoring and milk to powdered sugar and whisk until well combined. Add additional milk as needed for glaze consistency.

Please sir, I'd like some more....
With only one stick of butter left, I thought it would be the perfect time to really experiment so when I came across several peppermint candy discs, Peppermint Shortbread seemed the perfect solution. I cut the recipe in half to accommodate the one stick of butter, but if you have lots of butter, plenty of peppermint candies, and know you love peppermint in anything, just double the ingredients for the full recipe.


Peppermint Shortbread
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup A/P flour
1/4 teas. salt
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teas. Peppermint extract
6 or more peppermint candy discs (or sticks), crushed
Preheat oven to 325d. Lightly grease cookie sheet or cover with parchment paper. Sift flour and salt together, set aside. Cream butter until light and fluffy, add sugar and continuing beating until light in color and fluffy. Beat in extract. Add flour and beat until flour is incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls and roll in crushed peppermint candies. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes. Bake 18-20 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to color. Cool on wire rack. Dip top of cookie into glaze and twirl slightly. Sprinkle tops with additional crushed peppermint candies (do this as soon as you dip, glaze dries fast). Store air tight. Makes 20 cookies.

Chocolate Peppermint Glaze
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
1/4 teas. Peppermint extract
3 TBLS. milk, warmed
Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl at 10-15 second intervals until melted. Stir well. Warm milk in microwave, approximately 6-10 seconds. Add chocolate, extract and warmed milk to sugar and whisk until glaze consistency, adding more warmed milk as needed. Use immediately.

Any exciting combos you've tried lately?

4 comments:

Callista said...

stop! Im drooling on my computer! LOL! Looks soo good! Yum!

Julie Tucker-Wolek said...

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! :):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):)

Heavenly Housewife said...

Wow, you have been baking up a storm, and these are very creative ways with shortbread ( a real favourite of mine). You are giving me some great ideas of my own!
*kisses* HH

Heavenly Housewife said...

Hey daaahling, just wanted to let you know I'm doing a give away on my blog for $80 Amazon gift card :), do stop over and enter!
*kisses* HH