I love the simplicity of shortbread. It's butter, sugar, flour and whatever add-ins you want. No chemical leaveners and for such a small cookie, it packs a real flavor punch.
I compared two shortbread base recipes. Here's the breakdown:
Base recipe: 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp confectioners sugar and 2 cups flour. I made my own Chai spice blend - cardamon, ginger, cinnamon, fennel
seed, star anise, a little bit of cloves, black peppercorns and black tea and used a food processor to make the dough.
I didn't care for the texture at all. It was too dry and sandy.
Base recipe: 1 cup butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1 3/4 cups flour. Using a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar till light. Add the flour, lemon zest and fresh rosemary. Mix just until a dough forms.
I much prefer the texture of this shortbread. I think the combo of using granulated sugar vs confectioners sugar and a little less flour is a winner.
Sunday, June 03, 2012
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Better Homes & Gardens has a recipe for Red Velvet Shortbread, but it has eggs and I wanted something more along the lines of a regular shortbread without the eggs. So I took a chocolate shortbread recipe (confectioners sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt and butter) and reduced the cocoa powder. Then I mixed together some vanilla bean paste, Super Red gel paste color and a bit of white vinegar to make the whole 'red velvet' thing official.
These are okay in a sweet buttery cookie kind of way, but I still need to do some tinkering.
Sunday, May 13, 2012
I'm a big fan of rhubarb, but unfortunately it costs an arm and a leg in the city so I get to make something rhubarb maybe twice during the season. These little cookie bars were pretty good. I made half with nuts, half without. Next time, I'll lose the nuts. I think the bars are better without them. And I'll probably up the rhubarb to 2 1/2 cups.
Yield: 18-20 bars
Oven to 350.
Line a 9" square pan with parchment.
1 C flour
1/3 C confectioners sugar
1/2 C butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon
In small bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment, stir together crust ingredients until it forms a dough. Press dough into parchment-lined pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
1 C sugar
1/4 C flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 C thinly sliced rhubarb (about 2 stalks)
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Whisk together eggs, sugar, flour, salt and vanilla bean paste. Fold in rhubarb. Spread filling over hot crust. Top with nuts, if desired.
Bake 35 minutes. Cool in pan on rack. Cut into bars.
Note: To make cutting easier, dip your knife in hot water.
Monday, April 16, 2012
I don't recall eating rice pudding when I was growing up so the fact that I've been craving rice pudding lately is kind of strange.
I made a very small batch of it in the crockpot this weekend and it was great.
1/2 cup medium-grain rice, rinsed
2 cups nonfat milk
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
vanilla bean paste
Butter the crockpot liner and add all ingredients except for the egg and vanilla bean paste.
My 1.5 quart crockpot has 1 temperature setting: ON. I cooked it for 2 hours, 15 minutes and it was perfect. When the rice is tender and the pudding is the right consistency, beat the egg and temper it with some of the hot pudding. Add that back into the crockpot and whisk well. Stir in some vanilla bean paste and serve hot, cold or at room temperature.
I was so excited to find this vintage coffee cup. My very first job was frying donuts at a Mister Donut. I wore an orange apron with an embroidered Mister Donut on the chest.
Everybody said I'd probably never want to eat another donut in my life after that job, but that didn't happen.