cream cheese shortbread with toasted walnuts and orange zest

Cream Cheese Shortbread

If you’re looking for buttery, melt-in-your-mouth cookies with a nutty crunch, look no further than these cream cheese shortbread cookies flavored with toasted walnuts and orange. The addition of cream cheese transforms these from the traditional sandy and crumbly shortbread to lighter, softer cookies. For an even more cake-like texture, roll the dough into balls instead of using a cookie cutter. Continue reading

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almond and orange shortbread cookies

I have always loved reading catalogs from my favorite stores like West Elm, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, and CB2.  To this day one of my guilty pleasures is leafing through pages looking for food styling inspirations and new props to use for plating.  I’ve been busy lately, but yesterday I finally had a time to relax with a cup of coffee, a cookie or two (or three) and my pile of catalogs.  Naturally, I found a few things I want so I folded down the page corners and left the catalogs conspicuously on the coffee table in the hopes my husband would get some hints for my upcoming birthday.  I wonder if it will work? Continue reading

rhubarb-vanilla bean shortbread bars

Rhubarb is a hardy, frost resistant crop that is similar in appearance to celery, except for its red or pink color.  Its fleshy and, sometimes, stringy stalks are the edible part, while the leaves are not eaten because they contain large amounts of oxalic acid, a stomach irritant, which can be toxic. When purchasing rhubarb, look for crisp, glossy stalks; the more intense the color, the sweeter they will be.  Rhubarb has a strong tart and bright flavor, and is best cooked with sugar as a compote, chutney or pie filling.
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orange semolina cookies

I have learned so much about cooking, and baking, in particular, since I started this blog.  One of the things that I particularly enjoy about food blogging is that it forces me to be more creative and to seek out recipes that use ingredients in a way that is new to me.  This is one of those recipes that intrigued me enough to give it a try.  Continue reading

lemon shortbread cookies

Yesterday I needed a break from the weekend chores so I decide to make some shortbread cookies.  They are easy to make and I had all the ingredients on hand.  This recipe is adapted from one given to Aunt Janet by Mrs. Beaten, a Scottish neighbor of hers when she lived in Hilo, HI.  These cookies have a great lemony flavor and are perfect with a cup of tea.

Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from a recipe by Mrs. Beaten
Yields 2 dozen cookies

Ingredients:
10 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon (preferably meyer lemon)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1 tablespoon lemon thyme, finely chopped for garnish

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