Actually, this title is misleading. If you know me at all, this is the ONLY thing I really know how to bake. I mean, sure I can throw together cake mixes and such. And I’m pretty good at doctoring them a little here and there to make them taste better than just out of the box. But when it comes to baking in general, I haven’t been a fan.
Until I was forced to spend winter weekends indoors all day with a toddler. Then I had to get creative, and fast.
Besides Ezra’s love of me baking, my parents got me the absolute best holiday gift ever, a Kitchen Aid mixer! I KNOW! I was so stunned and happy and surprised! So now I feel like I *have* to learn to bake all kinds of things in order to justify that gorgeous piece of machinery on my kitchen counter!
I think this recipe is a good place to start because 1) it’s easy 2) it’s fast and 3) I usually have the ingredients in my cupboard. I blogged a few weeks ago that I was going to give this one a shot, and now that I’ve made it four or five times, I feel like I can confidently pass it on, as well as tell you a few adjustments that made this recipe work much better for me. So here it goes.
Shortbread and jam cookies
A full recipe makes about 4 dozen small cookies and takes about 40 minutes from start to finish.
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (it must be unsalted!)
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup strawberry jam (or whatever your favorite is)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Have you guys ever used Parchment paper? This was my first time and OMG where have you been all my life?!? Cover 2 baking sheets with this magical stuff.
Mix the butter and sugar on medium speed until combined. Add the egg and vanilla, and continue until you have a gooey, lovely mess. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour, salt and baking powder. If you only had salted butter to use, skip the salt here.
Beat this mixture until just combined. Dump the dough onto a flour-dusted cutting board and shape dough into a ball.
Using a knife, divide the dough into four equal portions. Using your hands, roll each portion of dough into a log roughly a foot long. Put two logs on each baking sheet (evenly spaced) and then using the handle of the spatula (or a wooden spoon or anything like that), create an indentation down the middle of the log. Next, spoon the jam into this indentation. I put my jam into a ziplock baggie and then snipped the corner, making it easy to squeeze out into the rut.
Bake cookies for 20 minutes, or until the edges are a golden brown. Cool for a few minutes before cutting the logs diagonally into 1-inch slices.
While the cookies are cooling, stir together the powdered sugar and milk. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies, and then leave them alone for about an hour until the frosting sets. This is the hardest part.
Each cookie is 70 calories.