Monday, September 6, 2010

Stamped Shortbread

One of my favorite things to do over lunch break at work is to visit a nearby thrift shop. Looking at the interesting fabrics and notions, books and cooking supplies, always clears my head, reduces stress, and energizes me for the afternoon.

This week I found these pressed glass cookie stamps. One is a shamrock design, the other a heart.

Our rainy Labor Day was the perfect day to give the stamps a try. I doubled my basic shortbread recipe, and added a bit of dried lemon peel for a touch of interest. This recipe made 3 dozen cookies: 1 c. butter
2/3 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 c. Ultragrain flour
1/2 c. white rice flour
1/2 t. dried lemon peel

After blending ingredients in the food processor, I formed dough into 1-inch balls, rolled them in sugar, then pressed them with the cookie stamps.

I chilled the cookies in the fridge to help firm the stamped impressions, then baked them at 350-degrees for 12 minutes. They are a lovely change of pace from my usual shortbread wedges.

Making this shortbread, I thought about how people learn. The first couple cookies were very tentative and experimental. Then I began forming a few balls in the sugar and stamping them 3 or 4 at a time. By the last dozen, I put all 12 dough balls on the cookie sheet and then stamped them. It was baby steps, walking, running.

I also thought about cookie-making as a meditative experience. I was totally focused on making evenly sized balls of dough, then stamping them evenly, with consistent firmness. Every other thought was gone from my mind. It was a joy!

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