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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Melt-in-Your-Mouth Shortbread

This falls into the “I’m only human” category! After icing the dark fruitcakes we made five weeks ago, wrapping presents, decorating the Christmas tree in the guest room, packaging up the fudges and candies and jelly and jam I’ve made as gifts, and preparing for today’s arrival of house guests, I am - shall we say? - a little too tired to make shortbread today! Nonetheless, I’m delighted to give you three of my very favorite shortbread recipes! The first came from the side a cornstarch package, too many years ago to count. 
The second comes from someone named Jean Bethune - I don’t really remember you, Dollink, but thank you for sharing your recipe with me back in 1984. The origin of the third is a mystery. I’ve made all three with great success, noting respectively on the file cards that the first is “Excellent!” the second, “Fabulous!” and the third, “Superb!” (I’ve never been one to mince words) Speaking of which, I haven’t yet given you any mincemeat or butter tart recipes, but if you stick around to Christmas 2012, I’m sure I’ll get around to it - not to mention  plum and carrot puddings with hard sauce, brandy snaps, and so many other beautiful things that are such fun to make. But I’m blathering, Dollinks! Let’s talk shortbread!
Melt-in-Your-Mouth Shortbread: 
½ c. cornstarch
½ c. icing sugar (confectioners sugar or powdered sugar)
1 c. all-purpose flour
¾ c. butter (no substitutes)
Glacé cherries, drained, as required
Preheat oven to 300 deg. F. Sift dry ingredients together. Blend in butter. A food processor is ideal for this job. Chill dough 10-to-15 min. Shape into 1-in. balls, flattening with the flat bottom of a lightly floured drinking glass. Press a halved glacé cherry into the center of each cookie. Place ½-in. apart on parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake 20-25 min., or until edges are lightly browned. Makes 3 dozen.
Late Note: In the end, I just had to bake some! Here they are!

Baked fresh, ready for Christmas snacking,
my Melt-in-You-Mouth Shortbread!

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