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Angels Unawares, Serial #21 and Sugar and Spice Shortbread Sticks

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At R&R we’re all for trying out new things, especially if they lean toward the tastier, healthier, or easier end of the spectrum. On the tastier end of the scale, we added butterscotch to the traditional bread pudding and came up with Scotchy Bread Pudding. On the healthier end, just last week we swapped yogurt for ice cream and fresh fruit for pre-made toppings and got a fresh take on the traditional sundae with our Very Berry Chocolate Parfait. And on the easy end of the spectrum, my favorite (I make it almost weekly) is the deceptively delicious and decadent but so easy and quick Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse.

But underneath all these new experiments and trendy samplings, we’re traditionalists at heart. And in that mindset, earlier this week I started craving shortbread cookies. I mean, is there an older cookie recipe on the entire planet? I believe they’ve found fossilized shortbread cookies in some of the Neolithic caves of Europe, right alongside gnawed mastodon bones. Not really, but you catch my drift. In the cookie dictionary, there’s a picture of the Scottish shortbread cookie for the definition of the word “traditional.”

So our expert researchers searched high and low and found a traditional shortbread cookie recipe. But we couldn’t leave it at that. You can, if you like–just stop at the “bake and cool cookie” part of the recipe and have yourself a traditional treat, along with a big glass of milk. But that’s the problem, you need a big glass of milk with a plain shortbread cookie because they are just a little dry (who in the back of the room said “like that fossilized one from the cave”?). So how ’bout we modernize this traditional recipe and make it just a little moister by adding a cinnamon glaze. And voila: Sugar and Spice Shortbread Sticks!

Because at R&R, we’re traditionalists at heart but just love to try out new variations. Hope you do too!

  sugar and spice shortbread

Sugar and Spice Shortbread Sticks

3 Tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg yolk

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon*

shortbread cookies

Add the brown sugar, butter, vanilla, and egg yolk to a mixing bowl. Beat ingredients together until the dough becomes light and fluffy. Add the flour, salt, and cinnamon and mix into the dough until well combined, careful not to over mix. With your hands, shape the dough into a flattened disk, cover in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for an hour or overnight.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the flattened disk from the refrigerator. To roll the dough out, I simply kept the disc in the plastic wrap and used a rolling pin. This kept things simple and clean! You can also remove the cookie dough from the plastic wrap and place it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick. With a knife or pizza cutter, cut the dough into twelve sticks. Place the cookie dough sticks on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges just begin to brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and place immediately on cooling wrack. While the cookies are cooling, you can make a Sugar and Spice Glaze by combing 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons of milk. Once the cookies are completely cooled, drizzle the glaze on top of the cookies. Allow the glaze to set before storing the cookies in an airtight container.

Makes 1 dozen sticks.

*You can use pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice as well.

shortbread sticks

{Adapted from Betty Crocker}

Click below to listen to or read Serial #21 of “Angels Unawares”.

Angels Unawares, Serial #21, audio © Jeffrey Anderson

Angels Unawares, Serial #21, text © Jeffrey Anderson


About Elaine

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