Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Sustenance is Necessary...

I've been quiet for a little while now. Even Mom commented on my blogging silence. It's just I've been so busy with my crafting that I haven't had time to post - ssssshhhhh! Top secret! Can't tell you about anything I've been working until after Christmas, but I can tell you I just put the finishing touches on gift number 17 this morning!

I'm hoping this means that I will complete the last few gifts in plenty of time before Christmas is upon us so that this year, instead of having a crazed lunatic marathon of crafting and melting down on December 23rd like I did last year, I can just relax and enjoy the time with my family during this festive season.

Of course with all this craftiness, sustenance is necessary. Tasty, tasty sustenance.  And do I have a recipe to share with you!

I met my friend, Betty, years ago, when we both had little kids and were muddling our way through early motherhood in those first few years. I remember Betty always bringing awesome treats when it was her turn to bring snack for playgroup! Over the years due to various reasons we lost touch and then several years ago picked up our friendship through the magic of Facebook.  We live several hours apart so we haven't had an opportunity for coffee dates or in person visits yet, but we do keep in touch via the net regularly.

The last few weeks she's been posting photos of delicious looking treats on Facebook, including whipped shortbread. I had a pound of butter in the fridge that was relentless in its calling of my name, just begging to be used. So a quick message to Betty and I had the recipe in my hands.

Yesterday was shortbread day. Tomorrow maybe shortbread day again. Perhaps the next day after that.  I can't see these lasting around here very long! These are delicate, melt in your mouth, morsels from heaven. Yum. Yum.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
Happy Holidays!

So here's the recipe! (Don't worry, I'm not divulging any ancient secret recipe here although it's tried and true, she's been using it for over twenty-five years for her own family - Betty told me to go ahead and share it with everyone! )

Betty's Whipped Shortbread

1/2 cup corn starch
3 cups flour
1 lb butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Heat oven to 350F/175C

Combine flour and cornstarch in a bowl and set aside.

Whip butter until fluffy then add powdered sugar. Whip again and add vanilla and salt when it looks creamed like whipped cream. Add the flour mixture a half cup or so at a time, whipping in between each addition.

(Betty says if you have a kitchen aid mixer use paddle attachment and at the end give it one good whip for 30 seconds. I don't, but found my electric hand mixer worked just fine!)

Spoon onto cookie sheets garnish. Betty's were so pretty - she used glacé cherries, cutting red ones into a small dot and the green ones lengthwise to make it look like holly! So festive! I didn't have cherries, so I just used colored sugar.

Bake for 6-10 minutes (start checking at about six minutes). Shortbread is done once the bottom is delicately browned. Cool on racks, then make yourself a cuppa, sit down, put on some festive tunes, relax and enjoy the season (and your shortbread)!