Neutral Header

Neutral Header

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Traditional Scottish Shortbread Cookies

Scottish Shortbread Cookies

 Scottish shortbread cookies are among my favorite treats. They are buttery, melt in your mouth bites of goodness! I have been making these cookies for over 40 years and they are a treat that my neighbors have come to expect at Christmastime. They are very simple to make and I bake between 12-30 large cookies each year. 

You only need a few ingredients that you probably have in your pantry: flour, real butter, powdered sugar and a pinch of salt. Sometimes I add some good vanilla but that is not required.

Cream the room temperature butter with the sugar then add in flour and salt. It will make a crumbly dough. If it's TOO crumbly add a teaspoon of vanilla or water. Mix until a dough ball forms.

Divide dough in half and gently pat into two metal pie pans. I find that meatal pie pans work best for this - sometimes it's hard to release from a glass pan.

Score into 8 wedges with a bench scraper or knife, then dock with fork tines. You can also use the fork to make a decorative edge. If you have cookie stamps now is the time to pull them out and use them! I like to sprinkle with sanding sugar but regular sugar works too.

Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes. It should barely be golden, not browned. After the large cookie has cooled tip the pie pan over to release and place on a pretty plate or tray.

 I bought some cardboard cake rounds last year to make gift giving easy.

 I then wrap it up in cellophane with a pretty bow and add a tag. 

I've also added an ornament to the package.

These make wonderful neighbor gifts during the holidays - or any time of year!

Scottish Shortbread

1 cup butter at room temperature

1/2 cup confectioners sugar

2 cups flour

pinch of salt 

sugar for sprinkling

Cream butter and confectioners sugar. Add flour and salt and mix until dough ball forms. Divide in half and pat into 2 pie pans. Score into 8 wedges. Bake at 325 for 25-30 minutes. Makes 8 generous cookies. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Colorful Kugels

 I'm finally putting away the last of my Christmas ornaments. I had a big dinner party 2 weeks ago and had left out a few kugel ornaments in blues and silvers to create a wintery tablescape.

So what is a "kugel"? 

 Martha Stewart shares the history on her website, " In the early 19th century, glassmakers began to silver the balls, coating their hollow interiors with tin, lead, or bismuth-and eventually silver nitrate-to create a metallic finishEmbossed brass caps with rings were added to globes of various sizes in the 1840s, giving birth to the first Christmas tree ornaments, known as kugels (the word means "balls" in German). Most of these were made in Lauscha, Germany, where shapes were expanded to include clusters of grapes, pears, ribbed balls, eggs, and teardrops. Silver, gold, and green, which brilliantly reflected candlelight, were the most  popular colors."

I've collected  quite a few over the years mostly in red, silver and gold with a few green and blue. Kugel ornaments are quite heavy so be sure to secure them safely when hanging on the tree. I also like to fill large bowls or hang small ones from a chandelier.

My mom used to make lovely holiday tablescapes with her kugels in silver compotes.

And I nestle them in among my large Santas.

There so many fun ways to use these vintage ornaments in your holiday decor. Find kugels at specialty Christmas shops, antiquing or online.