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26 December 2006 @ 12:38 pm
Zorgish shortbread for the holidays  
Well, the solstice, Chanukah, Festivus, and Christmas have all passed. Enjoy your Boxing Day hangovers and here is a rather late recipe which you may still use for Gregorian New Year’s Eve if you are so inclined. Sorry for the odd mixture of weight and volume measurements (and wild-ass guesses at metric conversions): this was adapted from a recipe found in a 1939 copy of “The Joy of Cooking.” Easy enough for monkey pups to make, too. Enjoy!

Oven 375F (190C)
1 lb (454 g) sweet (i.e. unsalted) butter at room temperature
1 cup (ca. 235 ml) well-sifted powdered sugar
2 tsp (5 ml) vanilla extract
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) ground nutmeg (freshly ground is best)
4 cups (950 ml) all-purpose flour (unbleached white flour is fine)
1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) salt

In a large bowl, beat the butter using a fork until soft (but not melted). Add the sifted sugar gradually and mix using fork until it is well combined. Add the vanilla extract and nutmeg and mix until homogenous. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter-sugar mixture, stir with the fork a bit, then work it all together with your hands. It will make a nice ball of dough.

Roll the dough out to 1/2" (1 cm) thickness on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Try to keep the thickness as even as possible, else the edges may burn. You may use some flour to keep the dough from sticking to the rolling pin. Before baking, cut the cookies into 2” (5 cm) squares (or whatever shapes you like) using a thickish blunt tool (I use a flat wooden spatula handle). This will make the cookies easier to cut when cooled, even though they’ll grow back together while baking.

Bake on middle oven shelf about 20 minutes. Don’t overcook. They should be light golden-brown on top. Separate and cool on rack, decorate when cool if they survive long enough to be decorated (meaning my friend Jane is not in the room).
 
 
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