Friday, December 10, 2010

Shortbread Jam Bars

So Christmas baking has taken a major back seat this year with the hectic schedule we've been keeping up lately, between our basement renovations, taking care of my husband's mom's affairs and all of the doctors appointments we've had with Logan. I've also opted not to have a New Years party this year for the first time in a few years, which has also really taken away motivation to prepare anything.

Jerome's mom's belongings arrived this past Monday (9 cubic metres!! Where will we put it all???). So between the half unpacked boxes everywhere and the sawdust that continually plagues our house these days, I tend to opt to clean rather than cook/bake lately. We had decided to get a babysitter in to watch Logan for a few hours this weekend while to try to finally put our house in order again. Unfortunately, Jerome ended up getting sick all weekend, so our house is still a disaster...

I nonetheless decided to finally start doing some holiday baking despite the mess. So this is the first stab I've made at any holiday treats this year, and hopefully won't be the last. They were super quick to whip up (much quicker than mom's shortbread recipe, which I love, but is a pain to sift and work together) and were delicious. Though if you've got a huge gang, you might want to double the recipe as there is certainly not enough for a huge family gathering.

I got this recipe from the Canadian Living Special Cookbook Issue that I picked up last month. It's chock-full of interesting-looking (and hopefully delicious) holiday cookies. And since my 'no cookbook buying rule' doesn't extend to magazines, I'm all good ;) Plus, it's my own rule anyhow, so really, who cares??

Shortbread is one thing that I don't substitute whole-wheat flour for. I've never tried it, but it just seems to me that they wouldn't work out very well. But if anyone has tried otherwise and they've worked out just as well, let me know. Also, I used homemade cherry jam instead of the recommended types and it was still delicious.

1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
1/4 C sugar
pinch salt
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1 C all-purpose flour
4 tsp. strawberry or raspberry jam

1. In a bowl and using wooden spoon, cream together butter, all but 1 tsp. of the sugar, and salt; stir in vanilla. Stir in flour until just combined.

2. Divide dough in half. On lightly floured surface, roll each half into 8-inch log. Place, 2 inches apart, on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

3. Press handle of wooden spoon lengthwise along centre of each log to create 1/4-inch deep groove. Refrigerate for 10 minutes (I skipped this step and they still worked out fine). Fill grooves with jam. Sprinkle remaining sugar over edges.

4. Bake in 325 degree Farenheit oven until golden brown, about 25 minutes. While still warm, slice into 1/2-inch thick bars.


I've also done them in cookie shape:

No comments: