Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Cookies

Originally posted to WetCanvas! by TeAnne

I found a recipe in a magazine last year that I really wanted to try, but hadn't got around to it. I figured I'd take advantage of Mom being over for a visit to help with the rolling of the dough. As it is the middle of December, I didn't have the fresh herbs called for by the recipe, but dried worked beautifully well, just very crumbly to chop! Of course, I also replaced the regular flour with rice flour so that Mom could eat it. The rule of thumb with substituting the super-fine, no gluten rice flour that seems to work usually is for every cup of regular wheat flour, use 1/8 cup less rice flour.

Lavender Shortbread
1 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp finely chopped lavender florets
1 tbsp finely chopped mint
2 1/3 cup flour (but I used rice flour which was 1 3/4 plus 1/3 cup)
1/2 cup cornstarch

Cream butter & sugar until fluffy. Add in mint & lavender & mix until fluffy again. Combine flour & cornstarch in a separate bowl, then gradually add to the creamed mix and beat until well incorporated. It gets kind of stiff, so I used my hands to knead the dough somewhat.

Divide dough in half, wrap in plastic and chill for 30-60 minutes. Roll or pat out squares between sheets of wax paper (if using regular flour, you can roll out onto a lightly floured surface) until 1/2" thick. Cut into 1 1/2" squares. Space on parchment-lined baking sheets approximately 1" apart and prick with fork. Bake at 325°F for 20-25 minutes until pale golden. Cool slightly on baking sheets before transferring to cooling rack.

The resulting shortbread looks rather coarse, almost like an oat cake, because of the bits of herb, but the flavour is much more sophisticated than a regular shortbread, and in fact, seems slightly less sweet because of the minty/lavender flavour. These worked out to be a wonderful Christmas cookie.

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