The credit for today’s shortbread goes entirely to Gemma, and my nephew Lucas, who convinced me making roll-and-bake cookies was an excellent idea on a rainy day at home with eight children aged nine and under.
Believe it or not, they were right – it was a good idea.
I always love shortbread, and this recipe from Gemma’s kids’ cookbook was no exception. The addition of whipped cream and strawberries made them even more beautiful and even more delicious, and for those who aren’t sure toppings, the plain version is exactly as good as shortbread should be on its own.
We added a splash of milk to make the dough slightly less crumbly to work with, which also translates into cookies that leave fewer crumbs on the ground than traditional shortbread, a great improvement in my head-vacuumer books.
I didn’t grow up with many cousins around, so it’s so special to see my own kids growing up with so many cousins, and starting to find their shared interests apart from just having to spend time together because their parents want to :)
This is back-to-school week for us, and my heart is again a little bit broken. Fewer kids and fewer baked goods make for a less homey home, if you ask me. Maybe Gemma will bake some more shortbread to unwind after a full day of school… :)
- ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup corn starch
- Pinch of salt
- 1 Tbsp milk
- 1½ cups strawberries, measured then hulled and sliced
- 3 Tbsp strawberry or raspberry jam
- Whipped cream
- With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar in medium bowl until light and fluffy. Add flour, corn starch, salt and milk and mix until well combined.
- Batter will be fairly dry and crumbly - lay out a piece of plastic wrap and gather dough into a roundish disc and put it on the plastic wrap. Wrap it up and press it together a little more, then refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the chilled dough between 2 large pieces of waxed paper on the counter and roll out dough to a circle that is about ⅛"-thick. Cut out about 12-16 shortbreads, re-rolling the dough as needed until you've used as much as possible. Transfer cut-outs to parchment paper-lined cookie sheet, placing about 1-inch apart. Bake for 20 minutes, until bottoms are lightly golden. Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.
- For topping, warm jam in a pan over low heat, then fold in the sliced strawberries and set aside to cool.
- When ready to serve, top each cookie with a dollop of whipping cream and two or three strawberry slices. Serve immediately.
*Adapted from Katharine Ibbs’ Children Cookbook, p. 110-111