Monday, December 13, 2010

Chai Shortbread

It can't be Christmas without shortbread!

It's no surprise that shortbread is sorta like the quintessential baked good of Christmas.
Tender, buttery, sweet goodness formed into a cookie.

It's also no wonder why the world only makes shortbread once a year;
if we made it all the time we'd all weigh 500 pounds and have heart conditions.

Well, maybe not you..... you probably possess a lot more self control than I do.

Because my mom usually makes authentic shortbread (ya know the stuff that's just butter, cornstarch and icing sugar), I opted to make this chai shortbread.
It's based on a scottish shortbread recipe which uses rice flour to give the cookie a nice texture.

They're kind of gritty, but like gritty in a good way.
 Like if you wanted to eat a gritty cookie that was also buttery..... not gritty like sand, gritty like sugar crystals....... 

I'm ruining this cookie for you, aren't I?

The grit is a good thing.
Just trust me.

Even better than the grit is that I adapted this recipe to work in my cookie press by adding a few drops of water to the cookie dough.
(I can be pretty sharp sometimes, when I'm not having a blonde day).

Take advantage of this time of year and make these cookies (with or without a cookie press).  It's the only time of year no one will judge you for eating the whole batch by yourself.

Chai Spiced Shortbread
Makes about 4 dozen sandwich cookies
Generously adapted from: Land 'o Lakes 2008 'Holiday Cookies' Magazine

For the cookie:
1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp ground cardamon
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ cup rice flour (brown or white)
1 ½ cups all purpose flour

For the buttercream:
2 tbsp cream or milk
½ tsp instant coffee granules
2 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
¼ tsp ground cardamon
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp ground ginger

1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine all cookie ingredients except flour in a large bowl; beat at medium speed until creamy. Reduce speed to low; add flour and continue beating until well mixed. If you are using a cookie press, add 1 tbsp of water to the dough and beat until incorporated. 
2. If using a cookie press, proceed according to the manufacturer's instructions. If not, shape dough into 1'' balls. Place 2'' apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet; gently flatten.
3. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until set and cookies are lightly brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet; remove to wire cooling rack. Cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, combine cream (or milk) and instant coffee in a medium bowl; stir until coffee is dissolved. Add all remaining buttercream ingredients; beat at low speed until moistened. Increase speed to high; beat until smooth and creamy. Spread 1 tsp of filling onto bottom side of 1 cookie; top with second cookie, bottom-side down. Repeat with remaining cookies.

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