Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Sweet Little Treat

I love to bake. Especially cookies and scones. It is funny, my mother hates to bake cookies. I can remember when we were kids that the first cookies would start out regular size and then as she went along they got bigger and bigger, because she just was tired of making them. It really does not bother me a bit to make cookies, but I like to make many different varieties.

Cookies are, I think, a kid thing. One of those little pleasures that you never outgrow. They are best fresh baked from the oven, trying not to burn your hands or mouth. But they are just as good packed in a lunch box with a sandwich and an orange . . . or snitched out of the cookie jar when Mom wasn't looking . . . or on a fancy plate with a doiley and a cup of tea. However, they are best when shared with a friend.

I first discovered these cookies a few years back. My middle brother had quit smoking and was having trouble with an allergy to eggs. Had never had the allergy before and he is over it now, but at that time anything with eggs made him sick. So at Christmas time, I made some of these cookies. I think he ate all but 2 or 3. This is a Taste of Home Recipe.

Berry Shortbread Dreams
Makes about 3 dozen.

1 cup butter, softened (REAL butter)
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 to 1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in extract; gradually add flour until dough forms a ball. Cover dough and refrigerate for an hour or until dough is easy to handle.

Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center. Fill with jam.

They should look like this:
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Bake at 350 degrees for 14-18 minutes or until edges are slightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Spoon additional jam into cookies if desired.

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Glaze:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2-3 teaspoons water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over cookies.

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Now, I usually use a bit more almond extract. I also use a variety of jellies and jams to fill them.

The reason I said use REAL butter - when I first made these, one of my friends asked for the recipe. So I gave it to her. I knew that she was on a low-fat diet, so I stressed - REAL butter. Later that week, she called and said she did not know what went wrong, but her cookies did not turn out right at all. So I had to ask - use real butter? Nope, she used margarine.

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As you can see from the picture above, you can also bake these blind and add other things in later. I baked some of them blind and put in home-made lemon curd.

What are some of your favorite cookies?

2 comments:

Marie said...

Oh, those look so delicious Rachael! I am going to give them a try next time I have to make a treat for my young women!

Mike of Mike's Table said...

Those look really tasty and just the right size. And lol about the margarine!