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Friday, December 20, 2013

Shortbread is Bliss

My oldest daughter has been taking Foods Class this semester.  She has always enjoyed puttering in the kitchen.  I am pretty happy that she enjoys baking and cooking.  Emily has learned to use the proper tools in the kitchen - for instance she insists on using dry and wet measuring cups, something that I seemed to have long forgotten about.   These days,  I am content if I can just find a measuring cup!

I used to love spending a day or two just doing Christmas Baking, those days are long gone now.  Lucky for us, Emily has taken over the baking duties in our home. (And, a wonderful neighbour who dropped of a large tin of baking earlier in the week.)

Making shortbread with Gay Lea Butter

Shortbread is my favourite holiday treat, but, not all shortbread is made the same.  It must begin with the best ingredients.   For as long as I can recall, Gay Lea is the prominent dairy band in our refrigerator.   I love Gay Lea because it is owned by the dairy farmers in its co-operative.  More than 1200 of our friends and neighbours are part of the co-op and successfully deliver quality dairy products to Ontarians.
photo source: Gay Lea

Did you know that shortbread dates back to 12th century Scotland?  I am a traditionalist when it comes to shortbread, yet there are many new varieties  of shortbread to try.  Gay Lea shortbread recipes are easy to follow and perfect for the novice baker - to the more experienced. 

This coming weekend, we'll be busy wrapping up our Christmas preparations.  The kids will be getting antsy with anticipation of the big day.  Emily has plans to make Candy Cane Shortbread with the kids to help keep them occupied.

You could too!

photo source: Gay Lea

Candy Cane Shortbread courtesy of Gay Lea 

  • 1cup GAY LEA - Unsalted Butter, softened250mL
  • 1/3cup Granulated Sugar75mL
  • 1/4tsp peppermint extract, optional1mL
  • 1 3/4cups All Purpose Flour425mL
  • 1/4cup Cornstarch Or Rice Flour50mL
  • 3/4cup candy canes, chopped175mL
Makes about 24 cookies.

Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
Using electric mixer, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in peppermint extract, if using. Using wooden spoon, gradually stir in flour and rice flour. Transfer dough to floured work surface. Dusting dough lightly with flour to prevent sticking, roll out dough to ¼ -inch (5 mm) thickness. Cut out 2-inch (5 cm) rounds, re-rolling scraps once. Transfer to parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle surface of each cookie with chopped candy canes. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
Bake in centre of oven for about 15 minutes or until firm to the touch and candy has melted. Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Transfer to racks to cool completely.

Play Shortbread Bliss

One of my favourite contests of the year is back!  Shortbread Bliss.  There are great prizes to be won, including a KitchenAid Mixer.  Yet, even more exciting to me is the chance to win free butter for a year.   And, it is always a lot fun to play.   

Check out Shortbread Bliss, and Happy Holidays!  

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