Sunday, January 22, 2012

I Heart Shortbread Cookies

Happy Monday, all! Can you believe how fast January is flying by? Elizabeth's lovely Pink and Gold post over at Pretty Pink Tulips got me thinking about Valentine's Day and how to let the loved ones in my life know how sweet they are to me.


My favorite Valentine's Day cookie? Shortbread, definitely. My friend Dana's recipe is the best I've tasted. She adapted it from Martha Stewart, and the key is the salt - it's the perfect chemistry between salt and sweet, especially when you had some cocoa to the mix. I made hundreds of sun-shaped ones to go into welcome gift bags for guests at our Sun Valley wedding (with help from my mom and bridesmaids) and they were a huge hit.


And the best part? They keep incredibly well, so you can get a head start on baking up a storm for your dear ones. Just a few simple ingredients bake up into the perfect way to share your love:

The Best Short Bread Cookie
(adapted from Martha by my friend Dana) 

8 ounces (2 sticks) of unsalted butter (room temperature) 
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon of course salt 
1/2 cup confectioners or granulated sugar 
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract 

Heat oven to 365 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet if rolling out to cut into shapes, or butter an 8 1/2-inch cake or springform pan, set aside. 

Sift together flour and salt into a small bowl, set aside. Place butter into bowl of an electric mixture fitted with paddle attachment. Cream until fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Add sugar and continue to beat until very light in color and fluffy, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl (about two minutes more). Add vanilla. Add flour mixture and combine on low speed, scraping with spatula if necessary, until flower is just incorporated and dough sticks together when squeezed with fingers. 

If rolling dough to cut into shapes, form into a flat disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate until firm, at least one hour. Or, pat dough into prepared 8 1/2-inch cake or springform pan.

Bake until firm and just starting to color - about 10 to 13 minutes if cut into cookie shapes, 50 minutes if in a cake or springform pan. 

Cool completely on a wire rack. Cookies will keep 3 to 4 weeks in an airtight container (longer if frozen) 

For chocolate shortbread, sift 1/2 cup of cocoa with flour and salt and proceed as noted above. 

****

What's your favorite way to someone's heart come Valentine's Day?








9 comments:

  1. These look wonderful! Will have to try this recipe.
    Have a nice Monday, Jeanne.
    Teresa
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so going to try this recipe. Every Valentine's Day I try to think of something to surprise my husband. Last year I took pennies for each of the years we've been married and made a heart out of them and glued them to red cardboard. He still has it today.

    XX
    Debra~

    ReplyDelete
  3. YYYYYYYYUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!
    Thanks for setting me on the course to baking for Valentine's Day! Perfect and beautiful
    Have a great Monday!

    ReplyDelete
  4. you will love these..... if making the chocolate version, you can grind a little pepper into it as well. THAT's the other secret!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Argh! Remi and I are both trying "to be careful" in our post-holiday state so I won't be making these just yet, as much as I would like to!

    When we first met and we didn't have a dime to our name, I bought construction paper and cut out as many hearts as I could and put them everywhere! He surprised me by buying a bouquet we couldn't afford. Lovely, non? I still have the hearts. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awww....you are so sweet to mention little old PPT! Thank you! :)

    These look delicious and this recipe is going in my files!!!

    I do love to make something sweet to share with my husband on Valentine's Day. I have these heart shaped molds that I use for Molton Chocolate Cake. But, cookies...they would please all the men (big and little) in my life!!!

    xo Elizabeth

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  7. are these in your home? i will be RIGHT over... i had some at joans with cream filling and chocolate dipped on one side... seriously? could anything be better? xx

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow these looks seriously amazing, I’m drooling all over the screen here, I have to tray this receipt ASAP, I bet it taste as good at it looks, it doesn’t seem so complicated to prepare, I will give it a tray! You have a lovely blog and I am a new follower! Hope you will like my blog and follow back!

    Pop Culture&Fashion Magic

    ReplyDelete

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