Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Strawberry Shortbread

I love shortbread cookies and was drawn to this strawberry version because it wasn't an obvious choice for a Christmas cookie. A little red cake glitter sprinkled over the top and I think this little cookie would fit in beautifully on any cookie tray. It would also be a great choice for other holidays (I'm thinking bunny cutouts at Easter or hearts at Valentine's Day) or for bridal and baby showers.
Strawberry preserves are added to both the cookie dough and the glaze. The preserves really shine in the glaze but I couldn't detect any strawberry flavor in the dough. While I loved the end results, the dough was a bit difficult to work with. The recipe states to knead the dough, but I had to manhandle it in order to get a dough that I could roll and cut out. I was concerned that the necessary roughness may result in a tough cookie, that wasn't the case. Next time, I may add a 1/3 cup less flour and see if that makes the dough more manageable.
Let me know if you try these cookies this holiday season!
Strawberry Shortbread
Christmas Cookies 2007 - Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publications
2 tablespoons strawberry preserves
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Strawberry Glaze
Coarse sugar (optional)
1. Snip any large pieces of fruti in the strawberry preserves. Beat butter, strawberry preserves, and almond extract in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Transfer butter mixture to a sheet of plastic wrap; shape mixture into a 6-inch log. Wrap and freeze for 1 to 2 hours or until firm.
2. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Stir together flour, granulated sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add butter mixture, breaking or cutting log if necessary to fit in a bowl. Cut butter mixture into flour mixture with a pastry blender until mixture starts to cling together. Knead dough until smooth; form dough into a ball.
3. Divide dough in half. Roll each portion of dough to a 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out dough rounds with a scallooped 1 1/2 to 2 inch cookie cutter. Place cutouts 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
4. Bake in a preheated oven for 12 to 16 minutes or until edges just start to brown. Transfer cookies to wire racks and cool completely. Spread tops of cookies with Strawberry Glaze; if desired, sprinkle with coarse sugar. Let stand until set. Makes about fifty-four 2-inch cookies or seventy-six 1 1/2 inch cookies.
Strawberry Glaze - Microwave 1 tablespoon strawberry preserves in a medium microwave-safe bowl on 50 percent power (medium) for 30 seconds or until melted; snip any large pieces in the preserves. Stir in 2 cups powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon milk using a wire whisk. Stir in enough additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make a smooth glaze of spreading consistency. Makes about 2/3 cup.
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