Contributed by: News Canada
Holiday Kitchen: Shortbread recipes like you've never seen before (NC) - It is the luxurious taste of real butter that sets melt-in-your-mouth shortbread apart from the ordinary. At holiday time, most of us envision the traditional shortbread combination of butter with vanilla, granulated sugar and other key ingredients, blending together to create the world's best Christmas cookies. But what if you could combine these shortbread classic ingredients to savouries like cheese and herbs and sour cream, to make the world's best party foods too? Gay Lea has produced Shortbread Inspirations a booklet featuring more than 10 sweet and savoury shortbread recipes, alongside innumerable baking tips and entertaining ideas.
Shortbread Inspirations is available now online at gayleafoods.com, or in stores where Gay Lea butter is sold. Here is just a sampling:
Pre-heat oven to 325 F (160 C). Using an electric mixer, beat Gay Lea butter until very creamy. Gradually beat in sugar, beating until very light and fluffy.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch and salt. In four additions, using a wooden spoon, stir into butter mixture, stirring well between each addition. Transfer batter to floured surface; knead gently for 3 minutes until shortbread holds together well. Divide into three balls. Wrap each ball with plastic wrap; flatten into discs and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Remove plastic wrap from one piece of dough. Flour work surface well and knead dough lightly for 30 seconds. Re-flour surface and top of dough. Roll out dough until 1/4" (about .5 cm) thick, constantly rotating to make sure it's not sticking to the surface and lightly dusting the top of the dough with flour. Cut out rounds, using a fluted or round cookie cutter. Transfer to parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Chill for 30 minutes or up to 8 hours. Repeat with remaining chilled dough. Re-roll scraps only once, dusting with flour as necessary.
Prick each cookie twice with tines of fork. Bake in centre of oven for about 15 minutes or until dough is firm and underside is lightly golden. Cool on pan on rack. Transfer to racks to cool completely.
Lemon Ginger Shortbread: Add 3 tbsp (45 ml) finely grated lemon rind and ? cup (50 ml) of finely chopped crystallized ginger along with flour mixture.
Orange Shortbread: Add 3 tbsp (45 ml) finely grated orange rind along with flour.
Serving Size: Makes 4 1/2 Dozen Cookies
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