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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Swedish Shortbread Cookies

Several years ago, we started having a bake off as part of our Christmas party at work. It is one of my favorite parts of the party (of course)! One of my coworkers brought these delicious little cookies to the party. Neither he nor I won that year, but I came home with this recipe.

I have made some modifications to the original. The instructions say to make the cookies in a long line, and slice them after baking. I have done it that way, but we like them better as you see them below. It also calls for a glaze, which I will include in the recipe. I didn't glaze them this year, it adds an additional level of sweetness, but they are perfectly delicate and buttery without it. And less sweet, which is OK at Christmastime !

Swedish Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
Up to 1/4 cup cold water
1 1/2 cup lingonberry or raspberry jam (really any jam you like will work)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
2 1/2 teaspoons water

Cream butter and sugar together, then add flour and mix well. Add just enough water to make the dough hold together well. Form into small balls, make a small "well" in the middle of each cookie and add 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Bake 10 minutes, just until the edges start to turn golden, do not overbake.

Let cool completely. Mix together powdered sugar, almond, extract and water. Drizzle glaze over tops of cookies and let set before storing.

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