Wednesday, December 06, 2006

An up recipe for down times

...or for way-too-up times.

I've baked one thing so far - my shortbread cookies. This is always the first Christmas baking I do, because my recipe makes lots, and they keep well. I store them in the coolness of our enclosed garage in a big tin, nestled amongst the empty pop cans, my husband's tools, and the general mess that collects because we're too lazy - or always too busy - to keep things tidy.

The reason I say this shortbread is an up recipe, good for down times, is because it's the simplest cookie possible to make. But it's neat how the simplest recipes are often the best. And I'm sure this must be the most delicious shortbread possible. Unlike a cookie baking friend I have who won't share her recipes with anyone, I WILL share this recipe with you.

There are only 3 ingredients:
  • 1 pound butter (at room temperature),
  • 1 3/4 cups sifted icing sugar (sift before measuring)
  • 4 cups flour
Accompanied by your favorite music, cream butter and icing sugar together. Beat in flour, a portion at a time.

The cookies can be formed in different ways, depending on how much energy you have:
  1. Roll out portions of dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into small cookies, using a cookie cutter of your choice. (Small is best, because these cookies are sinfully rich.) Bake on ungreased cookie sheet in a 300 degree oven for about 15 minutes until very slightly golden around the edges. Or:
  2. Roll dough into a narrow snake, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Cut into 1/4 inch thick cookies. Bake same as above. Or if you're really into a down time:
  3. Press dough into a jelly-roll pan. Cut into small squares and bake at 300 degrees. (I'm not sure how long) You can make the squares more interesting by placing half an almond in the center of each before baking. (To split almonds, place in boiling water for a couple of minutes. Then use a paring knife to separated the two halves.)

One more thing to share:

Keep a green tree in your heart and perhaps a singing bird will come. - Chinese proverb


bipolar_girl said...

Yummylicious!!!Hi Marja! I mailed my Christmas card to you this morning. The post office said it would take ten days for it to reach its destination.Happy Holidays!

marja said...

Thank you Desiree. Mail all the way from the Phillipines! I'll be looking out for it.

Sarah said...

guess who FINALLY posted something on her christian blog again?:)

Bleeding Heart said...

What is icing sugar? :-)

marja said...

Icing sugar is, I think, also called confectionery sugar. It's the powdery sugar you use in icings. Hope you try this recipe, Dream writer.

Bleeding Heart said...

I thought so, but wasn't just use the sugar natural - I don't make this "Icing?"

Sorry, but I am not a baker. Me and Betty Crocker are best friends:-)

Come on over to my blog..I have the video of the song up!

marja said...

Dream writer: yup. Just use the sugar.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm going to make these 'up' cookies either today or tomorrow :)
Thanks Marja! Love Shebee