But, I had nothing to worry about. Elizabeth is, besides being super-talented, also amazingly sweet and friendly. Having grown up in Eastern Canada, she now lives over in Britain. I not only love her recipe for whipped shortbread, but also the story behind it.
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guest post by Elizabeth from Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary
Christmas means many different things to many different people. For some it is a time of friends and family, of gatherings and cheer and for others it is a time to remember loved ones who are no longer with us. For me it is a mixture of both and a time for good food!
I have fond memories of my own childhood Christmases in rural Cape Breton Island on the east-coast of Canada. I remember thigh-deep snow drifts, the cold smell of snow and heading out into the forest with my little brother to find, cut down and drag home a Christmas tree. Sometimes this took a few tries as we'd invariably bring home a cat spruce (these smell like cat wee when they start to dry indoors!).
I remember the church Christmas pageant and the teas and home bakes in the rooms downstairs. There would be tables laid out with all sort of sweets and delicacies and a few tables with handcrafts for sale to raise funds: Christmas decorations and the like. The older women would pour out hot cups of tea and we'd all sit in our best dresses enjoying the festive atmosphere.
These whipped shortbread cookies with their delicate draping of white snow-like icing and colourful glace cherry were always on the tables. I don't know who used to make them or even where I got the recipe from, but it's been in my handwritten cookery note book for nearly two decades now; the cookery notebook I made sure I brought with me when I immigrated across the pond from Cape Breton to another island in the North Atlantic - Shetland, at 60 degrees North, halfway between Scotland, Iceland and Norway.
These cookies mean Christmas to me and I always try and make them for our own village Christmas party. I am delighted now to be able to share them with you via Stephanie and Paul's Kitchen Frolic Cookie Advent Calendar. They're remarkably easy to make, just plonk all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until combined and then blitz some more until the mixture is well and truly whipped. Roll into balls, bake, cool, ice and decorate. They freeze really well (and defrost quickly) so you can make a batch and keep them in the freezer for any surprise guests over the holidays.
As an expat Canadian born on the west coast of Canada and raised on the east coast, Elizabeth blogs over at Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary from her home in Shetland, a remote archipelago in the North Sea. She is quite possibly Britain's most northerly food blogger and you can follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Makes 46 cookies
For the cookies:
115 grams butter
110 grams shortening
90 grams icing sugar
80 grams cornflour
260 grams plain flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
For the icing:
150 grams icing sugar
4-5 tsp cold water
6 glace cherries (2 each red, green and yellow)
Instructions:The recipe and all photos used in this blog post belong to Elizabeth / Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary and should not be reprinted without her express permission.
- Preheat oven to 160 C
- Place all the ingredients in a food processor. Blitz until combined and then blitz some more until well and truly whipped.
- Roll into small balls one inch in diameter and place on an ungreased baking tray two inches apart. I use a silicone baking mat and this keeps the cookies from spreading too much during baking.
- Bake for 10-13 minutes. Leave to cool for a few minutes on the baking tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To prepare the icing, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add enough cold water to make it not-too-runny. Set aside while you cut the glace cherries.
- Cut the cherries into eighth's
- Gently spoon 1/4 -1/2 tsp of icing on the top of each cookie and place an eighth of a glace cherry into the top before the icing sets. Leave to harden.