Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Strawberry Shortbread

The thought of making my own fruit Newtons got in my head, and once an idea like that gets stuck in that noggin, there's nothing I can do except try to execute the idea before I can think of much else. I don't think these turned out anything like a fruit Newton, but I still consider it a success. By that, I mean that they were delicious and I ate them all and didn't want to give any away.

I froze some strawberries that I picked at Gnismer Farms in Arlington, and this was the base for my cookie filling. The strawberries were cleaned and cooked with sugar until they were mushy and gelatine-y. Then I made the "shortbread" (I put that in quotes because it's not really shortbread because I substituted 1/2 cup of Neufchatel for 1 stick of butter for a chewier cookie):

2 cups AP flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter (room temp)
1/2 cup cream cheese or Neufchatel
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt.
In another bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter, cream cheese. vanilla extract and sugar till fluffly.
Add the flour mixture and mix well. Shape into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350F.
When the dough has chilled, flour your work surface and roll out the dough out to about 1/4" thickness. Spread the strawberry filling (you can use strawberry preserves or any other preserves you want) across the dough. Fold the dough in half and slice into squares.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes or until the tops of the cookies are golden brown.

Note: Mine turned out chewy because I used the Neufchatel in place of half the butter. If you want yours more like shortbread, use all butter. Store in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze.
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