Friday, December 24, 2010

Raspberry Shortbread Sandwiches and Valrhona Chocolate Shortbreads

Merry Christmas, Friends, Family and other Loved Ones

A promise is a promise and here are two more of the cookies from the tray:

 These cookies are at the right of the tray and are both shortbread cookies made from the same recipe, but finished differently.  The recipe is Eli Zabar's  (NYC) and I took it straight from Ina Garten.  Just the end results are totally different.  And while these are not terribly innovative, they are terribly delicious.  Addictive, in fact.  Go ahead; you still have time to bake.  No?  How about for New Year's?  Truthfully, the 12 days of Christmas haven't even begun yet.  Get out those trays and crank up that oven.  Take a batch to a neighbor you wish you knew better or run up to the local church for services tonight and give a batch to one of the musicians.  Like me.  I'm working tonight. 

Shortbread Cookies from Eli Zabar via Ina Garten and Alyce Morgan

3/4# soft unsalted butter
1 c white sugar
1 t vanilla extract
3 1/2 c unbleached flour
1/4 t salt (no salt if you used salted butter)

For sandwich cookies:  3/4 c seedless raspberry jam and 1T Cointreau
For chocolate dips:  3-6 oz Valrhona Chocolate melted*; 1T coarse sea salt


Mix together together the butter and the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer until just combined.  Add vanilla.  Sift the flour and salt and add it to the butter an d sugar.  Mix until the dough starts to come together.  Dump on a floured board and shape into a flat disc. Refrigerate, tightly wrapped, for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Roll dough out 1/4"   thick on a floured surface and cut with 1 1/2- 2"   fluted cookie/biscuit cutter.  Bake on an ungreased sheet for about 10 minutes--until edges show the faintest signs of gold.  Let cool to room temperature.

For Raspberry Shortbread Sandwiches:

Mix jam with Cointreau and heat briefly; stir well.  Turn cookies flat side up and, holding one, place about 1/2 t jam mixture on it.  Place another cookie, flat side down into the jam mixture and press together lightly.  Place  cookies on racks as you finish them.  When all are done, dust with confectioner's sugar shaken from the shaker or through a small strainer/sieve.

For Valrhona Chocolate Shortbreads:

Chop or grate chocolate into a small sauce pan.  Place sauce pan over  another with an inch or so of simmering water.  Let chocolate melt slowly.  When melted, take each cookie and dip halfway.  Place each dipped cookie onto a wax paper lined tray to dry.  Place a piece or two of sea salt, if desired, on the chocolate side before the chocolate dries.  

*Depending on how much of the dough you commit to the chocolate variation.

Store these cookies in tight containers after they are very dry.  Place wax paper between layers.

Merry, Merry Christmas and may all your New Year's dreams come true,

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