My friend over at Mamacat’s Q Tea asked me this spring to help out with a gift basket for a fundraiser. I wanted to come up with something that I could make ahead of time and that would complement her incredible flavors of tea, so Ina Garten’s shortbread cookies came to mind. Since this gift basket was for a silent auction I didn’t think a basic shortbread would cut-it. Next I thing I knew I was trying out some different flavors including these 3 – Vanilla-Cardamom, Lemon-Rosemary, and Orange-Cranberry.
This post was supposed to read “Shortbread Cookies – 4 Flavors!” but I’ll admit that one of the flavors did NOT turn out well and the cookies were a mess. I tried making a maple toffee version and I think I added way too much maple syrup and toffee because they spread like crazy and looked horrible. But they tasted great! I’ll have to work on that one!
If you don’t feel like baking and you’re looking for some yummy treats in the Connecticut area, check out my friend’s (owner of Mamacat’s Q Tea) pop-up Babycat Milkbar in Wilton, Connecticut. Lots of yummy treats, drinks, and a great place to meetup with friends!
If you do feel like baking and decide to make your own shortbread, you can come up with your own flavors and cut the cookies into any shape you want. I cut them into small bite-size 1-inch squares.
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|Shortbread Cookies – 3 Flavors!||
- 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Flavorings (see below)
- 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- flavor additions – see below under notes)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Beat together butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well combined. Beat in vanilla. Stir in desired flavor additions (see below).
- In separate small mixing bowl, stir together flour and salt until combined then beat into butter/sugar mixture.
- Form dough into flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Roll dough out to about ½-inch thickness on floured work surface. Using a 1 inch square cookie cutter, cut out dough (or cut into desired shapes). If you want sharp edges, refrigerate cut-out cookies for 10-20 minutes before baking.
- Place cookies on ungreased baking sheets (or baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpats) and bake about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown around edges (or bake about 20-25 minutes or cookies about 2-3 inches in diameter).
- Makes about 4 dozen (1-inch squares) – yield will vary depending on size you cut cookies into.
Orange-Cranberry: Add juice & zest from 1 small orange and 1 cup chopped dried craisins.
Lemon-Rosemary: Add juice & zest from 1 lemon and ¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary.
SNAPPY TIPS: You can cut the cookies into any shape you like. Be sure you use sharp cookie cutters to cut through some of the flavorings (such as the dried craisins and rosemary).
SNAPPY SUBSTITUTIONS: You could add a wide range of flavorings to these cookies such as chopped nuts, fruit zest, dried fruit, and extracts.
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