~ My Six-Ingredient Last-Minute Eggnog Shortbread ~
There are two kinds of people. Those who finished their holiday baking last week and those who haven't started. If your holiday is under control in a Martha Stewart-esque sort of way, the force is with you and you need no help from me today. If, however, you fall into the category of those who just got home from doing all of your gift shopping and find yourself panic stricken in the kitchen in need of a last-minute cookie recipe, preheat your oven to 325 degrees now.
1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons eggnog flavoring
1 teaspoon butter rum flavor
2 1/2 cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
~Step 2. Starting on low speed of hand-held electric mixer, in a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, sugar, salt and flavorings. Increase mixer speed to high and and cream until mixture is light, fluffy and pale yellow, about 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl constantly with a large rubber spatula. Remove the mixer and add the flour. Using the spatula, fold in the flour until a shaggy, ragged looking dough comes together. Transfer dough to prepared pan.
Note: In a hurry? Skip the refrigeration -- nothing bad will happen. That said, refrigerated dough tends to bake up a bit more tender than non-refrigerated dough. Some experts like to refrigerate theirs a full 24 hours.
~ Step 5. Remove from refrigerator and place cold pan of dough on center rack of 325 degree oven for 25 minutes, stopping give the pan a quarter turn every 5 minutes to insure even "browning". Edges should be lightly browned and top just showing signs of browning.
Invert & place squares on a rack to cool completely:
Special Equipment List: kitchen shears; parchment paper; 8" square or round cheesecake pan with removable bottom or springform pan; hand-held electric mixer; large rubber spatula; small pastry roller; fork
Cook's Note: Bar cookies in general are a way to remove some of the stress from your holiday baking marathon. You cannot go wrong with the quick-to-make crowd-pleasing chocolate-lovers confection ~ Hello Dolly! The 5-6-7-Layer 'Magic' Cookie Bar ~. Just click into Categories 7, 20, 26 to get my version of this famous retro recipe. Happy Holidays!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2015)