Recipe: Chocolate Raspberry Shortbread Squares

Chocolate Raspberry Shortbread Squares

Well Hello!!!

It’s been a long time! I hope you are all warm and well with people you love. I can’t believe fall is gone and Christmas is nearly upon us. I’m finding myself drawn to simpler things this year. Other years I find time and inspiration for decor and crafts and elaborate desserts and dinner parties and new recipes galore. This year I’m happy to read the girls Christmas books, toboggan, and meet friends for a glass of wine. But I am grateful for the season. Grateful for winter magic in little girl eyes.

Mini Cookbook update: I know. I know. I’m working on it. It’s too long and dreary to explain but let’s just summarize: new publisher, new format, first experience outsourcing(amazing), new graphic work, not a lot of free time, setting up online purchasing, soon.

I’m pretty sure I haven’t cooked anything since I last blogged which was…2 months ago. It’s true. Sexy Husband is on tour, Picky Princess and (super picky) Foodie Baby eat about 1 calorie each for supper, so I slice a lot of apples and boil a lot of eggs. I’m unapologetic. It’s the season. And seasons change all the time.

THIS recipe, however, is amazing. It is a no-fail-go-to-every-winter-binge-worthy dessert. It is easy and was handed down to me by a lady named Gail, who is wonderful. Gail is a friend of mine from Saskatoon, where I went to university. I was just there to watch a show Sexy Husband sang in and…she made it again! It brought back the happiest most nostalgic memories, even though I’ve made them myself every winter. Something about Gail making them, reminded me of cold COLD winters in Saskatchewan, surrounded by the warmest people I’ve ever met. I can’t actually find the original recipe she gave me, but it’s one that I can make in my sleep because it’s THAT GOOD. If you have holiday parties, cookie exchanges, or boring lonely nights when your husband is away on tour: this is a great treat. I’ve discovered this year that is pairs nicely with red wine(go figure).

Chocolate Raspberry Shortbread Squares

1 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup icing sugar

2 cups flour

1/2 can sweet and condensed milk(Eagle Brand)

1 bag(approx) chocolate chips

raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add flour and stir to combine. Press 2/3 of dough into a 8×8 glass baking dish. Bake for 15 mins. Remove from oven and drizzle with Eagle Brand, chocolate chips, small dollops of raspberry jam(try to space evenly for a little on every square) and the rest of the dough. Bake for 20 minutes more until edges are turning golden. Remove and cool completely. Cut into small squares(or large ones, whatever). They are much easier to cut if they’ve been in the freezer for a little bit.

Happy December!

Recipe: Rhubarb Shortbread

Rhubarb Shortbread

…brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things…particularly if the brown paper package is filled with rhubarb straight from the garden, delivered by a friend, and still with the slightest bit of dirt on the stalks. ┬áJust such a package arrived for me this week from a Beautiful Soul and I’ve had a great time making rhubarb inspired meals. We had rhubarb compote on chicken breasts, strawberry rhubarb crumble, and tonight’s experiment: rhubarb shortbread. This recipe is loosely taken from a Smitten Kitchen recipe that is one of my summer favorites. A few changes and voila. The sweet and nutty brown sugar spelt shortbread with the tang of the rhubarb is absolutely delicious. It all tastes a bit like…summer!

Rhubarb Shortbread

makes a lot

3 cups spelt flour(or regular unbleached flour)

1 cup brown or raw sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 egg

2 cups thinly chopped rhubarb

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 and butter a 9×13 baking dish. Whisk together all the dry ingredients. Add butter and egg and work together with a fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Tightly press 3/4 of mixture into the baking dish. Sprinkle the rhubarb over the shortbread. Top with remaining shortbread mixture. Bake for about 30 mins until edges are turning golden. Cool completely in pan and cut into squares.

Baking: Brown Sugar Shortbread

brown sugar shortbread

Today is a dear friend of mine’s birthday. Reason enough to start some pre-Christmas baking experiments! I also got Martha’s Holiday Cookie Magazine the other day which provided me with some new cookie inspiration. Baking is good for the soul on many levels. It is one of my absolute favorite things to do with my girls. Picky Princess is a great helper and it’s good quality time. Foodie Baby, who finally has decided to start walking, does laps around the kitchen, throwing herself into the backs of my legs, making us all laugh. Baking = treats for my friends and a tangible way for me to show them I love them. It makes the house smell delicious. The result is usually beautiful, and if not beautiful, then delicious.

Tomorrow it is supposed to snow, dramatically, and be super cold for the rest of the week. I love Christmas and I’ll wait until the end of November to get into full swing Christmas mode, but I’m going to enjoy the gentle onset of winter, cuddle my babies in the warm kitchen, bake, give and love.

Happy Birthday Jacqui!

Brown Sugar Shortbread

**this recipe has been (largely) modified from Martha’s recipe for classic shortbread in Holiday Cookies 2010**

makes about 4 dozen small cookies, depending on cookie cutter size

2 cups spelt flour (of course you can use white)

1 tsp salt

1 cup butter, room temperature

1/4 cup confectioners sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 bag of dark chocolate chips

Directions

In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt, set aside. Beat butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add sugars and beat 2 more minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Add in flour and stir until just combined. Separate dough into two disks, wrap in plastic and chill 20 mins. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Cut out small hearts(or whatever shape you like) and place on parchment lined baking sheets. Chill hearts while you preheat the oven to 300. Bake for about 15 minutes, until edges are turning slightly golden. Allow to cool completely. Melt chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave, or over a double boiler. Dip cooled cookies into chocolate and place on wax paper until chocolate is set. You can speed up the setting by putting cookies in the freezer. Enjoy!

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