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Nadine McCrea

The Christmas Bakeshop

By Nadine McCrea | December 24th, 2010 at 7:38am

This is my kitchen island. Well it was. Until I ate everything. I mean, until we packed it up for dear friends and family.

My kitchen has been very busy this December with flour and sugar and all things sweet (especially the H.G.) all around. She likes to give homemade cookies and treats as Christmas gifts. These pictures are a sample of her baking AFTER a Christmas party and 3 gift tins.

This year she made sugar cookies, gingerbread men and gingerbread trees, buttertarts, thimble cookies (also known in some parts of the world as thumbprint cookies), rum balls, peanut butter squares, almond squares and shortbread cookies (there they are in the center of the photo).

And as a special Christmas gift for you, I give you my grandmother's recipe for shortbread (as she wrote it):


2 cups butter
1 cup sugar
4 cups flour

Have butter at room temperature and cream well with sifted brown sugar. Add flour gradually and work with a spoon or electric mixer as long as possible, then turn onto a floured board. Add remaining flour and knead approximately 10 minutes or until the dough cracks. A little more flour may be added if there is a tendency towards stickiness. Do not skimp on the kneading as this is the secret of its tenderness.

Roll gently to 1/2 inch thickness, cut with fancy cutters and bake in a slow oven, about 300F. Yields 150 small cookies.

P.S. We also add chopped candied cherries on top so they look "Christmas-y".

This never fails to get rave reviews. Enjoy!

Merry Christmas to all.

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