Usually the shortbreads we make around this time of year are just that - plain, vanilla, no-fuss butter and icing sugar concoctions. No chocolate, nuts or fruit to mess with the velvety texture. Then the folks at Gay Lea - a great butter producer in Ontario - sent me a few rather unusual recipes for the treat: a savoury Chipotle & White Cheddar Shortbread Cracker, and some ooey-gooey-delicious Banana Coconut Cream Shortbread Stacks. While I dont think I can ever convince mom to use these in place of her coveted prize-winners, I can't wait to give them a whirl myself!
Both recipes and photographs courtesy of ShortbreadBliss.ca
Chipotle & White Cheddar Shortbread Crackers
Makes about 84
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp superfine sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper
1 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups cold Gay Lea Unsalted Butter, cubed
1 cup grated, aged white Cheddar cheese
- Pulse the flour with the cornstarch, sugar, chipotle pepper and salt in a food processor.
- Add the butter and cheese; pulse until the mixture comes together.
- Divide the dough into two portions and form into a rectangular log, about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick by 2-inches (5 cm) wide.
- Chill for at least 1 hour or until firm enough to slice easily.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and arrange the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
- Slice the logs 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
- Bake, in batches and rotating the sheets halfway through baking, for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden around the edges. Cool completely on a rack.
Banana Coconut Cream Shortbread StacksMakes 8
1 cup softened Gay Lea Unsalted Butter
2/3 cup superfine sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (approx.)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup toasted unsweetened coconut
1 tbsp Gay Lea Unsalted Butter
1 tbsp dark rum or 1 tsp vanilla extract
3 bananas, sliced thinly
Gay Lea Real Whipped Cream
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
- Beat the butter with the sugar and vanilla until fluffy.
- Beat in the flour and salt until combined.
- Form the dough into a disk; chill for 45 minutes.
- Roll out the dough, on a lightly floured surface, about 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick.
- Use a 2 1/2-inch (6 cm) round cutter to cut out 24 circles (re-roll scraps as needed). Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
- Bake, in batches, for 20 minutes or until pale golden. Cool completely on a rack.
- Meanwhile, whisk the milk with the sugar and cornstarch in a large, heavy saucepan set over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until thickened.
- Beat a little of the hot milk mixture with the egg.
- Whisk the warmed egg mixture into the remaining milk mixture.
- Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, until smooth and thickened.
- Remove from the heat, stir in the coconut, butter and rum.
- Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the custard; cool completely.
- Centre 8 cookies on serving plates. Top each with an equal portion of the custard and banana slices.
- Repeat layers once and top with a final cookie.
- Just before serving, garnish with whipped cream, toasted coconut and additional banana slices.
If you pop onto the Shortbread Bliss website, you'll get a chance to enter into a draw for a rediculous grand prize: a Hamilton Beach® Countertop Oven, ChefPrepTM Food Processor, Classic Metal Hand/Stand Mixer, Ensemble 12 Cup Coffeemaker and a 1.7 Litre Cordless Dome Kettle.
And speaking of prizes - Gay Lea has also been kind enough to sponsor a little giveaway for me to do as well! How would you like to get a jump-start on your holiday baking with a goodie basket filled with $60 (CDN) of cookie-baking bounty? I have one basket to give out to someone in Ontario only (sorry guys - that's where Gay Lea is located!) that includes:
- a 3 month supply of Gay Lea Butter
- Cookie cutters
- a rolling pin
- 1 free Redpath Sugar coupon
- 1 free Naturegg Simply EggWhites coupon
- Cookie recipes
- Shortbread tips
- a Gay Lea cookie tin
All you have to do is leave a comment on this post answering this question: What is your favourite recipe (sweet or savoury) that your family makes every year around the holidays that you don't make any other time of the year? I'd love to build up my traditional holiday cookbook!
You have until 11:59 PM on November 21 (so a week from today) to get your comments in! The winner will be chosen at random and I'll reveal the results by November 24. Good luck and happy baking!