Sunday, February 4, 2007

Shortbread Hearts


It’s that time of the year again when we all search for those pretty cards, candied hearts, chocolate dipped strawberries, cute teddy bears and radiant red roses to celebrate love and friendship with our dear ones. Yes, Valentine’s Day is just two weeks away and I see lots of pink, red and white wherever I turn. This year, why don’t we Say It with Shortbread Hearts? Shortbreads, a Scottish favorite are “the ultimate expression of the four building blocks of baking: butter, sugar, flour and salt.” But modern cooks have come up with lots of variations by adding nuts, chocolates or any other dried fruits as well as cutting them differently. If it is yet to strike you, this is an EGGLESS recipe!! I found this recipe on Martha Stewart’s LIVING beautifully cut using heart shaped cookie cutters. So dear friends, let’s hit the baking corner and serve our Valentine’s with some extra love :)

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups sifted all-purpose flour/maida
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped dried cranberries or cherries

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325° with the rack in center. With a hand mixer, combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, flour, and salt,(all at the same time) in a bowl, until it’s just incorporated; not too creamy. Stir in dried cranberries/cherries or fruit of your choice.
  2. Grease an 8 or 9 inch-square baking pan with butter and flour and pat dough firmly into the pan and bake until just beginning to turn golden. Though the original recipe calls for only 20 min, it took 50 min for me. Cool on a wire rack and unmold the Shortbread and transfer to a work surface. Do not cut if it's still warm and wait till it’s completely cool. Use a heart cookie cutter to cut out cookies and keep them at room temperature in an airtight container.

Tricks I learnt!
This was the first time I tried a Shortbread recipe and hence I did some reading before hitting the baking corner. Here are some tips: After transferring the dough into the baking pan, cover it with a plastic wrap, so it doesn’t stick to hands while pressing into a uniform thickness and before sliding the dough into the oven, prick all over with a wooden skewer. Experts do not suggest the use of forks, as its tines will pull at the dough. The holes keep the surface level and promote even baking. It’s also suggested not to substitute confectioner’s sugar with granulated sugar, to avoid grainy cookies. Please note that the original recipe calls for only 20 min baking time but it took 50 min for me. So it's better to keep in mind the variations of the oven settings. Bake until golden colour and firm in center.

You can either use cookie cutters or simply cut them into rounds or squares when it’s completely cool. I noticed that the flavour improves after a few days.


I think it's time for me to go for Monthly Mingle at Meeta's. :)

* This recipe is taken from Martha Stewart’s Living and for more information and recipes on Shortbreads, refer Martha Stewart LIVING, February 2007,Pg: 82.

Luv
Shn
No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 Kitchenmishmash.blogspot.com. All rights reserved.

35 comments:

Mallugirl said...

hearts are in season.. love the recipe.

USHA said...

Hi Shn,

Shortbread looks awesome.I liked very the tip part which was informative too..

Thanks for sharing.

Maheswari said...

Perfect for V-day...Looks pretty and delicious..BTW you can call me mahi,mahesh and macchu...funny isn't it..too many nick names..nobody close to me call me maheswari..like you ,they think it is a pretty long name..:))

Asha said...

I love those hearts falling everywhere Shn!!Beatiful Short bread,I used to eat lot of those while we were in uk!
Thanks and enjoy the game!:))

Susan said...

How sweet to have raindrops of pink hearts!
The shortbread looks delicious!

Susan from Food "Blogga"

KitchenFairy said...

Wounderful Presentation... I knew that You would come with something special for this Valentines Day..
Really Creative.......

sailaja said...

It's the season and your recipe and presentation are just so apt and awesome..:)
Love those lil hearts all over..:):)

Jyothsna said...

Very nice presentation, Shn. Hmm, luv is in the air....!! Thanks for those tips!

RP said...

Hmm...too valentin-y in here! You are so sweet, and the shortbreads look great!

Coffee said...

Lovely looking!!!!! And the hearts falling on your page are so cute!!!! :)

Nidhi said...

WOW! Love is in the air... Shortbread hearts are looking awesome. Beautiful creation and a nice recipe for Valentines day..

Cheers, Nidhi.

Sri said...

Happy Valentine day in advance..those short bread look awesome.

thush_m2000 said...

I like the falling hearts- very appropriate for this time of the year.
I still have to try out the fish curry before i get to this one.

Lakshmik said...

Hi

Thanks for visiting my blog. I will be soon adding you to my blogroll. I love your shortbread recipe too. Can I substitute cranberries/cherries with some other dry fruit? I am not a great fan of either of them.

Reena said...

Wonderful presentation !!!! Perfect for V'day....:))

Gattina said...

Whaaaaoooo!!! So beautiful the falling hearts!
And what a great tip you gave out! I love shortbread a lot :)

Sri said...

mishmash I have tagged you too...

Anonymous said...

Hi! this is Rg again.

Heart-shaped Shortbread looks delicious and very tempting too. I'm gonna try this one out tommorrow as I don't have the dried berries right now. Anyways, will let you know how it turned out for me. Thanks for sharing such nice recipes. Looking forward for more:)

Sri said...

Wasn't there before :)

Latha said...

Just perfect for Valentines! We love shortbreads and biscottis at home. Great with a cup of latte! Yumm, I think I should have some now :-)
You have a nice blog going on...
Cheers
Latha

Krithika said...

looks gorgeous !

Prema Sundar said...

Hi Shn,
Thanks for visiting my blog.. this is my first time here and was welcomed by falling hearts !!!loved it ... and the shortbreads are perfect.

Dilip said...

great recipe....gonna have to find someoneto bake for me...thing is...I have a love-hate relationship with my oven...we simply don't see things eye to eye... we avoid each other as much as we can...~grin~...thanks for sharing

nandu said...

thank you.I will surely start adding pics....Chandu menon's Indulekha ...read that book during one summer vacation long back..was a nice book..

Nupur said...

Your cookies look even prettier than the ones in the magazine! What a lovely presentation.

Meeta said...

What a gorgeous recipe and wonderful presentation. Thank you for bringing it along to the MM.

Mishmash ! said...

I am really excited to see that all of you liked the recipe, presentation and the falling hearts....Thank you for all those sweent comments and words of encouragement and appreciation.

Mallugirl, Usha, Mahi, Asha,Susan,Kitchen fairy, Sailaja, Jyothsna, RP, Coffee,Nidhi,Sri,Thush,Reena,Gattina,RG,Latha,Krithika, Prema,Dilip & Nandu, THANK YOU ! :)

Lakshmi,Sure you can substitue cranberries and cherries with any dried fruit/nuts of your choice.Pls do let me know how it came out.

Nupur, Shhhhhh !!! Hope Martha Stewart doesnt read your comment :)) You made my day ! :) Thank you.

Meeta, Welcome to my blog and thank you for letting me in at MM even though it was a last minute entry :)

luv
Shn

Seema said...

Lovely looking heart shortbread. Perfect for Valentines day. Loved the recipe as well. Will try it out sometime.
Thanx

archana said...

What an elegant setting for the occasion. Loved the photos.

Vani said...

How beautiful they look! And heart shaped too! You should enter it for Valentine's special at Pooja "mycreativeideas.blogspot.com", Mishmash. It's perfect!

Pravs said...

Hi there...
Thanks for surfing by my blog.
I should say you have a way with words....and a great presentation style. You have started off very well.

Brilynn said...

Although I'm not much one for hearts, I would gladly take yours!

Mishmash ! said...

Seema,Thanks! Do let me know how it comes out for you.

Archana, Thank you :)

Vani, Thank You and Welcome to my blog. I submitted "Groom Berries and Bride Berries" to Pooja's V -day Special. Thanks! :)

Pravs, Thank You for all those nice comments and I welcome you to my blog :)

Brilynn, I'm glad to hear that.Welcome!

Sushma said...

What a lovely collection of recipes...so many the edible beauties.. would visit your blog more often
-Sushma

madhuram said...

The hearts look excellent. Glad I found another amazing eggless creation.

Thanks for sharing the recipe.