Monday, February 15, 2016

Spiral Shortbread Cookies

The shortbread, a rich crumbly cookie made with butter, sugar and flour, originated in Scotland around 1736.  They are baked at a low temperature to avoid browning.  When you remove them from the oven they are very crumbly and if not careful can fall apart.  Of course, if that happens you have to eat the evidence to hide the fact that you where inpatient to let them cool.  I'm not saying thats a bad thing, I had to eat a few myself.   It just means you will have less cookies to serve.

Spiral Shortbread Cookies
Serves: 24
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
gel food coloring, any color
2 Tablespoons flour
about 1 cup multi-colored nonpareil decors
1.  Combine 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt and sugars in a mixer and mix.  Add butter and mix until the mixture has a cornmeal consistency.  Add the vanilla and mix until mixture just forms a ball.
2.  Divide the dough in half and return one of the halves to the mixer.  Add the almond extract food coloring and 2 Tablespoons flour to the mixer and mix until just incorporated.
3.  Roll out each portion of dough between sheets of waxed paper into an 8"X11" rectangle, with 1/4 " thickness. Stack the dough, leaving on the wax paper, onto a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.
4.  Pour the decors into a shallow rectangular dish, I use a cookie sheet with sides.  Remove the dough from refrigerator and peel off the top pieces of wax paper from each dough half.  Lift one and flip it over onto the other half so the doughs are touching.  Remove the top sheet of wax paper and trim the long edges with a sharp knife so that the sides are straight.
5.  When the dough becomes just pliable, roll the dough beginning with a long end into a log.  Gently curl the edge with fingertips and try to avoid creating pickets of air.  Carefully lift log into the dish with decors and roll until outside is completely coated.  Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to slice, at least 4 hours, 
6.  Preheat oven to 325'.  Slice log into 1/4" slices and bake on parchment-lined baking sheets for 15 minutes until cookies are no longer shiny.  Or you can freeze the slices and bake another time, like when your man ask,"will you bake me up some cookies?"