Shortbread is a type
of cookie made from approximately one part icing sugar, two parts butter, and
three parts flour and baked at a low temperature to avoid browning.
I make these cookies
ALL YEAR ROUND but for some reason shortbread are often made and shared at
Christmas.I think these
shortbread are make even better because they are chocolate chip.Seriously isn’t everything better with
Christmas is next week
so I thought I would share one of my all time favorite recipes and here is how
I make chocolate chip shortbread.
1 3/4 c pastry four (often this has salt but if not, add ¼ tsp.)
1 c mini chocolate chips
3/4 c unsalted butter
1/2 c icing sugar
2 tsp cold water
2 tsp vanilla
4 oz squares semi-sweet or bitter sweet chocolate (for dipping)
Preheat oven to 325.
Line 1 or 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (depending on the
size of your cookie sheets – the recipe makes 30 cookies – they all fit on my 16x21”)
In a small bowl, stir flour with MINI chocolate chips (the cookies
are only about 1 1/2 “ so normal size chips are too big).
In a large bowl, sing an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth,
then gradually beat in icing sugar until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Beat in water, vanilla (and salt if your pastry flour does not
Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in flour mixture.
Shape into 1" balls and place on baking sheets.
Bake 1 sheet a time, until edges are light golden, 15 to 20 minutes.
Cool completely on rack.
Meanwhile, melt 4 oz of baking chocolate in a double boiler or in a microwave bowl. Remove
and stir until smooth.
Dip half of cooled cookies into melted chocolate.
Place on parchment paper.
Refrigerate until chocolate is set.
If you make these
let me know if they become one of your go to cookies.
I love going to
the movies.On most Saturday
nights that is where you will find me and my husband at the movies.And we are just as happy going to a
drama or comedy or art film or documentary.So when the Toronto International Film Festival comes to
town we are so excited.And then
getting to make movie themed cookies … well you can just imagine...
TIFF is a big
event in the city so I made these cookies and here is how I did it.
- royal icing – as always, I really like the Ateco
- piping bags
Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe and cut out
the movie camera cookies.
Fill or flood the
cookies.I like using the squeeze
bottles because it is so much cleaner then a piping bag when flooding cookies.
Use a toothpick
or bamboo skewer to pull the icing to fill the cookie.If you just use the squeeze bottle
there is a chance that you will overflood the cookie – it is always a fine line
between the perfectly flooded cookie and a cookie that is over flowing with
icing.The toothpick “pull” really
helps ensure an evenly flooded cookie.
Let the cookies
Spray the cookies
Outline camera in
black. You can stop there or put a
movie expression like “Action” or “Take One” in the middle of the cookie in
yellow.I always like the way the
way yellow and silver look together but of course you can use whatever colour
I was pleased
with the way these cookies turned out and now its off to the movies (which of course includes popcorn)!
I make Challah
almost every Friday but making Challah for the Jewish New Year is extra
sweet.Instead of sugar, I use
honey and instead of a straight braid, I make a round challah.
This recipe makes
2 medium challahs – I make one with raisins and one with chocolate chips (which
is always a big hit with the kids).
This recipe (from my Cuisinart Bread Machine) is
great all year round but extra sweet for a sweet new year.
And, here is how
I make it.
1 cup water
1/3 + 2 TBSP
2 large eggs
1 ¼ tsp salt
4 TBSP honey
(buckwheat is the most flavourful)
3 ¾ cups flour
2 ¼ tsp yeast, active dry, instant or bread
in order listed, in bread machine pan fitted with the kneading paddle.
Select the menu
on your bread machine for dough.
Press start to
mix, knead, rise your dough.
When cycle is
complete, remove dough from machine and place on floured surface to rest – 10
minutes is good.
I usually make 2
loaves from the large recipe above.
Braid into loaves
and let rise again if you have time – 30 to 60 minutes is good.
[NOTE:If you wish you can braid the challah
and freeze it unbaked for future use.If you do this take the challah out of the freezer and let sit on a
parchment covered cookie sheet for a few hours – they will rise again.Then continue on the recipe as
directed. My sister taught me this trick and can be a real time saver depending on your week.]
Egg wash and
cover with streusel topping.
Sprinkles – for
fun I put on top of chocolate chip challah
I put the mixins
in before I braid.
1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
½ cup margarine,
cut into pieces
Mix sugar, flour,
and margarine with fork or in food processor to form a crumble. Sprinkle on top
of challah before baking. (You can double and just keep remainder in the
freezer to use week after week).
Have a Happy New
Year – full of health and peace and all sweet things!
I made these doll
cookies – thinking they would be very cute and look like an American Girl doll
(even though I am a very Canadian girl;).
When they were
done, I thought they looked like me and my friend S.When my husband saw the cookies (knowing I made Us in Cookie) he said “Cute, You and S. in Cookie” – this is funny because hubby does
not really notice stuff like this.
S. and I have
been friends for over 30 years – yes yes we met long before we were born;)
Today is S’s
birthday so I thought I would send this out with a big huge “Happy Birthday My
Friend My Friend!”
I had so many
ideas for Valentine’s Day this year and I did not get to blog about all of
them.Sure I did the apple cinnamon dog bones and blondies with kisses, but I really had many many other
ideas.Some of them came to
fruition and I did not get to write about them (like the ones below) but some
just did not happen and will have to be saved for next year or morphed into
And while hearts
are still the number one cookie for Valentine’s Day I did make a few fun new
ones that tuned out quite lovely for this day that is all about amore.
Love Is In the
Loves Me, Loves
Me Not Daisy
Not sure if I will ever get though all the ideas in my head -- do you ever have that problem? Well I guess that it is better to have too many ideas than to run dry.
In the meantime I hope today is a day full of love and kisses and hugs (and if some of those are chocolate kisses and hugs -- then it is sure to be a great).
sorta like chocolate brownie, but are based on brown sugar instead of cocoa –
which makes them really carmely.
I wanted to share
a recipe for Valentines Day that included Kisses so I made blondies with all
kinds of Kisses.I was trying to
base this entire blog around the idea of this blondie sending you lots of
kisses … but I’m starting to run out of time to get this up in time for you to
make for your Valentine’s Day.
So I made these
and this is how I did it.
1 ½ cups cake flour (not self-rising)*
1 tsp baking
¾ cup (1 ½ sticks)
unsalted butter, at room temperature
* If you don’t have cake flour in your
pantry , measure out 1 ½
cups of all-purpose flour, remove three tablespoons of flour and replace with
three tablespoons of cornstarch. Sift flour and cornstarch.
Preheat oven to
lightly flour a 13”x9” baking pan – I always use Bakers Joy.
Unwrap the Kisses
– and set aside -- you might have to test a few -- unwrapping Kisses and not eating ANY is almost impossible -- if you can do it, let me know your secret.
In a small bowl,
combine flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl,
cream the butter with the sugars until smooth, about 2 minutes.Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
Add the dry
ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Stir in the
Kisses.Spread the batter evenly
in the pan – it will look sorts thin but don’t worry it will fill out and rise.
Bake 35 to 40
minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the pan comes out
with moist crumbs.Don’t over bake
– like brownies a little under baked is better.
Allow to cool
before cutting – I used this Wilton Brownie Combo Heart Cutter – which is great
because if cuts a fun shape and does not waste much of the blondies (and by
waste I mean corners that you can eat).
Sending you lots
of Hugs and Kisses in the form of really yummy blondies.
The dogs are important members of the family.I bake for all my loved
ones and so it only makes sense that I would bake for the pooches as well.
The recipe is
pretty easy and the dogs seem to like them... at least they come and grab them
and run away with them gobble them down and come back for more – mind you they do that with any treat I give them so
perhaps this crowd is not the most discerning…
But they seemed to enjoy these fresh baked, low fat treats which makes me happy. And, here is how
I made them.
4 cups whole
wheat flour – plus more for flouring work service
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 large apple --
1 1/3 cup water –
more if needed to moisten mixture
Preheat oven to
In a mixing bowl,
combine all ingredients except for the apple and water.
Mix grated apple
into mixture and add water.
Mix until it
starts sticking together.
Roll out on a
floured surface to about ¼”thick and cut into whatever shapes you
like.I used a dog bone and heart
but other cute/fun shapes could be a gingerbread postman or a cat.
Place cut cookies
on a parchment paper lined sheet and bake for 60 minutes.
Cool and share
with your best friend. I'm sure they will LOVE you for it because that is just the way dogs are and we are lucky to have them in our lives.
Last week (or
maybe a bit longer than that) was our 7th wedding anniversary.I could not think of what to make for
my husband that expressed how much I love him, how cute I think he is and how
happy I am to have him in my life.Then I remembered our Stationary Studio stick figure stickers – which
pretty much sums it up…
Live Well, Laugh Often, Love Much
So I made these
cookies of us – I heart the heart mouth and my hair which is either blond with
brown lowlights or brown with blond highlights – I don’t really remember
What I like about
these CopperGift.com cookie cutters is that each can be personalized with different
hair, eyes, glasses and accessories -- they are great cookies for your loves on Valentines Day, birthday favours or for a family reunion.
What I really like about my husband is his
sense of humor and his ability to see through my kookiness!
So in an effort to start the year
on a healthy note, I made granola.This granola is a pretty healthy version – it is full of whole grain oats,
no salt nuts, a little healthy olive oil and does not have a ton of sugar.What is great about this recipe is you
can add whatever you want.If you
need a no-nut version – add more seeds, coconut and dried fruit.If you love nuts chock it full o’ nuts.
This granola is super fantastic
for breakfast with milk or yogurt (Greek yogurt is my favorite) or on it’s own
for a little afternoon pick-me-up.
I’ve made it so many times since
the new year began and here is how I made it.
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats –
I used large flakes
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup light tasting olive oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. cinnamon
Add In Ideas – use as many as you
wish or others that you can think of
1/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds, coarsely
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup pistachio nuts
1/4 cup shelled sunflower seeds
1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
– I like the big flakes (in fact I put some in that toasted and then added more
raw at the end – but I really love coconut)
1/4 cup dried apricots, cut into
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Mix first five ingredients in a
bowl with whatever add ins you choose.
Place on foil lined baking sheet.
Bake 3500 for 15 to 20
minutes.Half way thought, stir up
and turn the baking sheet to ensure even baking.
Remove from oven and let cool on a
wire rack.Don’t forget if you
want to add more raw coconut now is the time to do so.
I think this recipe is a healthy
alternative BUT I provide this cautionary note -- it is quite addictive so if
you are someone who can’t control themselves and is trying to start the year on
a weight loss foot – don’t make it!
But if you do
make it, let me know what you added.