Monday, December 6, 2010

whipped shortbread with eggnog icing

Our knitting group had a Secret Santa swap last night and my recipient, Anna, had specifically mentioned that shortbreads were her favourite.  Not that I needed an excuse to make a batch of whipped shortbread.  A good buttery Scottish shortbread is delicious to enjoy unadorned year round but Christmas it must be whipped short bread, rich with creamy icing and topped with red and green candied cherries.

The icing I did for this batch is really just the Quick White Icing I recipe from Joy of Cooking. The egg nog was a last minute idea to make it more festive. Combined with pure vanilla extract the egg nog flavour really comes through - it would be great on a sugar and spice cookie with nutmeg!

Whipped Shortbread
(40 cookies)

Preat over to 350 F. 

Cream together:
1 pound butter

1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt

Gradually add:
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 cups flour

Whip with an electric mixer until fluffy. If you have a cookie press, this is a great time to dig it out.  I just rolled mine in small balls. 

Bake 12-15 minutes. Like all cookies, take them out just before they look done (cookies keep cooking a little bit even on the counter).

Let cool for 2 minutes on baking sheet, then remove to wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Egg-Nog Icing

In a medium bowl, beat together on medium speed:
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy (it makes a difference!)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened

Add and beat until smooth:
3-4 tablespoons egg nog
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt

Correct consistency by adding powdered sugar or more liquid as necessary.

Ice cooled cookies.  Top the cookies with a slice of candied cherry (not maraschino - they're different.  I learned the hard way years ago.) 



Michele - fancybell said...

I am definitely going to make these cookies in the very near future!!! They look delicious!

Anna said...

They were delicious!!

Stace said...

In the oven now :) cant wait to try them!