Saturday, December 17, 2011

Bring on the Shortbread!

For me it just wouldn’t be Christmas without shortbread!

When I was a child my Mother made beautiful shortbread cookies with a press, and she decorated them with green and red cherries, and green and red sugar crystals. They were melt-in-your-mouth delicious and if I close my eyes I can almost taste them…

I enjoy experimenting and have made several different shortbread cookies and bars over the years.  This year is no different and today I made shortbread squares with dried cranberries and white chocolate chips. It is based on the old standby cornstarch recipe, but with a bit of a twist.

And they turned out very well… just ask The Captain!


Cranberry and White Chocolate Chip Shortbread Squares
Makes 32 squares *
  • 1-¾ cups white all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving about 1 inch of overhang on all sides. This makes it easier to remove the bars from the pan after they are baked, and you don't have to butter the pan either.  Nice easy cleanup!
  3. Combine the flour, cornstarch, and salt in a medium bowl.
  4. In a separate, large bowl, cream the butter and icing sugar. When fluffy, beat in vanilla.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine well. You may want to use your hands for this. It will be crumbly.
  6. Then mix in the cranberries and chocolate chips, again using your hands.
  7. Place the mixture into the prepared pan and spread it evenly over the bottom by patting it with your finger tips.
  8. Prick the surface all over with the tines of a fork.
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.
  10. Remove from oven and place the pan on a baking rack and let cool for about 30 minutes.
  11. Lift edges of parchment paper to remove the baked shortbread from the pan.
  12. Cut the shorbread into 32 squares while it is still warm.
  13. Allow to cool completely.
  14. Store in sealed container or freeze.
Per serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 3.
Calories 110; Protein 1g; Carbohydrate 12g; Fat 6g; Fibre 0g.

* If you cut the shortbread into 48 pieces, the N.I. is as follows:
Per serving.
Weight Watchers P+ = 2. 
Calories 73; Protein 1g; Carbohydrate 8g; Fat 4g; Fibre 0g.

Combine flour, cornstarch and salt.

Cream butter and icing sugar.

Add the vanilla and beat again.

After combing the wet and dry ingredients, add cranberries and chocolate chips.

Pour the mixture into a pan lined with parchment paper.

Pat with fingers till evenly spread and then prick the surface all over with a fork.

Bake till edges are golden brown.

After cooling for 30 minutes, lift edges of parchment paper and remove from pan.

Cut while still warm... and enjoy!

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