Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Holiday Traditions

...late but not forgotten.


I finally got around to baking the shortbread cookies my family has made for Christmas for as long as I can remember. They're simple, and so good. I bought the butter before Christmas, but what with travel, hosting my first ever Christmas dinner (and roasting my first turkey), and helping to organise and host an official event for over 200 people, the baking kind of fell by the wayside.

Mom's Shortbread
1 lb butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 cups flour
1/4 tsp almond extract

Cream all ingredients together slowly (a hand mixer or food processor is very useful for this) until light and fluffy. Drop teaspoons of dough onto a baking sheet, top with slivered almonds or sprinkles, and bake in a 325degree oven for about 12 minutes, or until lightly browned.


Tonight, I put out the butter to soften when I got home. After a bowl of cereal (yes, I still eat like I'm in university half the time), I mixed up the batter and spooned out the cookies.


We've always done sheets with almonds and with sprinkles, but I've always liked the sprinkles best, so I ignored the almonds today.

It's best to turn on the fan and open a window when baking in a gas oven (especially when the last thing in there was a turkey, and the oven hasn't been cleaned of turkey juice yet).


Mmm... heaven!


(The tea is actually homemade chai, with whole cardamom, peppercorns and cloves, fresh ginger, cinnamon bark, and ground nutmeg and allspice brewed with black tea, strained, and then thickened with milk and a little sugar.)

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