Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Cherry Shortbread

When I was in England a few weeks ago, we had a "free" day to explore and went to Runnymede.  For all you who know your history, Runnymede is alongside the River Thames and most notably associated with the sealing of the Magna Carta.  It was during the reign of King John in 1215, it was signed and democracy was born.  The most important items to note was that it affected common and constitutional law as well as political representation, beginning the development of parliament.  The ideals of democracy were: limitation of power, equality and freedom.  If is sounds familiar, it was what our own Constitution was designed after over 200 years later!

After our walk through The National Trust land, donated in 1929 by Cara Rogers Broughton and her sons, we stopped at the Tea House to enjoy some refreshment before heading to Windsor Castle.  I had the Cherry Shortbread and my friend had a piece of Almond Frangipane Tart.  I couldn't wait to see if I could replicate this shortbread when I got home; I have a friend who loves shortbread and I wanted to surprise her!  Just as delicious and it will be one I make again.

Cherry Shortbread

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup confectioners' sugar (icing sugar)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup dried cherries, cut in half

Glaze

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 T very warm water
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 T Light Karo syrup

Start by hydrating the cherries in boiling water; making sure you cover them completely.  Allow to stand at least an hour or longer.  Drain well in a sieve, then scatter them on paper toweling to make sure excess moisture is removed.
Preheat oven to 325F-degrees.  Line the bottom of a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper.  If you don't have a springform pan like I use, then make sure the parchment goes up at least two sides so you can lift the shortbread out when it's done.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and confectioners' sugar together completely.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula if needed.  Add the vanilla extract and beat once more.  Add the flour and salt and mix on low just until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated.

Bring dough together on a board and divide in half.  Press half of the shortbread into the prepared pan, pressing with your fingers to spread completely.  Use either a "docker" or a fork to poke holes into the dough (this allows it to bake evenly.)
Scatter the cherries on top, then, breaking off pieces of the second half, press gently over top to cover the cherries.   I also "poked" holes in this layer, then sprinkled with some sugar crystals lightly.
 Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a light golden brown.
 Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 7 minutes before removing it to a cutting board.  You will want to cut the shortbread while it's warm.
I also decided to add a glaze since shortbread isn't overly sweet.
Very quick and oh so delicious.  It's the perfect afternoon treat with tea or anytime:-D Enjoy!

15 comments:

  1. You are so amazing! This looks wonderful!

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  2. This won't last long in our house :-) Shortbread cookies are just irresistible.

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  3. outstanding...how marvelous to be in England this summer...what a marvelous life...hugs dear Susan

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  4. Sounds amazing... Looks so yummy!

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  5. It looks utterly, utterly scrumptious and so tempting.
    I'm glad you managed to squeeze a few sights in. I'm always intrigued when visiting Windsor at the juxtaposition of such an ancient fortress against the endless line of aeroplanes coming in to land at Heathrow.

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  6. I love how you use your talents to remember your recent visit to England. Shortbread is a wonderful treat and your creation must be wonderful. I loved visiting the National Trust tearooms. They always serve yummy treats. XOXO ♥

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    1. It was hard to decide, but I seem to always gravitate towards shortbread!

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  7. I think it is fabulous that you can duplicate something you ate on your trip. cherry shortbread is for me.
    stamping sue
    http://stampingsueinconnecticut.blogspot.com/

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  8. How unique and delicious - I am printing this out for sure!

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    1. They'd be perfect in your backyard with tea!

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  9. Susan, those look beyond fabulous. Wayyyyy beyond. Oh my goodness, You are a FABULOUS baker. Loved the photos of your grandson, too. When I see Kelly's photo, it breaks my heart that she is not with you and her little boy. Why such things happen is so hard to comprehend. So very, very hard. Her son is a handsome little fellow. So glad he has a wonderful Grammie! Hugs. Susan

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    1. There are so many things I don't understand in life, but as my grands say, "roll with Grammy." Thank you for visiting, XOXO

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  10. Susan, I love England but won't be going again any time soon, so I love reading about other people's trips there! Your shortbread looks like something I'd love to have with a cup of tea right this minute (I drink tea about 8 times a day).

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    1. I'll be going back in September and can't wait to try some other desserts to try at home:-D

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