Saturday, December 18, 2010

iced and snowy stars

i love this shortbread recipe
and use it shamelessly
whenever i can
it is seen here
rolled into a rainbow of happiness
every christmas
mom would bring out
special cookie cutters
the ones she used for
the mystery still remains
they were 
shaped like playing card suits
and how
"spades" and "diamonds"
scream christmas
i never thought to ask

perhaps i should

she rolled the dough out thicker than usual 
slightly underbaked them
and half dipped them in chocolate
and they are perfect that way
my favorite way of eating them

but they are also delightful
rolled a bit thinner
baked a bit crispier 
glazed with
ivory tinted
royal icing, 
flavored with a bit of almond
finished with sugar
i make these
mom still makes 
chocolate dipped
and it is hard to imagine
that we both use 
the same dough
shortbread cookies
(printable recipe)
(the original recipe has been passed down through my family, but came-i think-from Paula Peck)
1 cup butter-room temperature
3/4 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour
Beat sugar and butter until completely mixed together, but not light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and salt and mix until just incorporated. Slowly stir in flour and only mix until just incorporated.  Divide dough in 2 portions, wrap in plastic and place in refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.  When ready to bake, roll out and bake on parchment paper.  top with sprinkles or leave plain and bake at 325 until just starting to brown on the bottom.
once cooled you can dip in tempered chocolate or glaze with royal icing (alton brown recipe here), flavored as you choose

just a simple tip.  i glaze the cookies using a pastry bag and let them dry.  i then dip a small paint brush in a bit of everclear or vodka (or you can use extract) and gently swipe it across the top. i then immediately sprinkle the sugar on top. the liquid will evaporate almost immediately--but it will allow your sugar to stick without sinking into the icing.


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