Saturday, February 14, 2009

something sweet, something light, something happy

***Pls note that I am no longer baking these for sale. If you want to eat them, bake them ;) recipe below***

The years before the kids/studio came, I was an avid baker. My quiche and desserts were most sought after by my friends (not shy right?) and I often make them when I had the time. One Valentine's Day, I baked these delightful shortbread for friends as well as for sale. If I recall correctly, I sold about 20+ jars and it was real hard work! Cutting the shortbread was tough as this recipe required you to cut them after baking. I think I make easier money as a photographer hahaha! Anyway enough talk, I thought since it's Valentine's Day, here's the recipe :)

Cranberry Shortbread Hearts

Makes about 1 1/2 dozen 1 3/4-inch hearts
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped dried cranberries or cherries

Heat oven to 325 degrees.with a rack in center. Combine butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a wooden spoon until combined but not too creamy. Stir in dried cranberries.
Pat dough evenly into an 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan. Bake until just beginning to turn golden, about 20 minutes. Place pan on cooling rack until cool enough to touch, about 20 minutes. Run knife around edges, remove shortbread, and transfer, right side up, to work surface. Use 1 1/2- to 2-inch heart cookie cutter to cut out cookies. Use a paring knife to trim stray bits of cranberry from edges. Cookies will keep for 5 days at room temperature in an airtight container.

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