I found this adorable recipe on the Bake it Pretty Blog and I thought I would share. I love making shortbread, usually I just mould it into a pie shape and then cut it into thick wedges to have alongside a nice cup of tea. These would be perfect for a “Gnome Tea Party”, with Bake it Pretty’s gnome or mushroom sprig cake toppers placed on cupcakes and their gnome or snail shaped cookie cutters used for sugar cookies or to shape tea sandwiches. The possibilities are endless and I know I am already getting carried away with the ideas buzzing around in my head…
The use of a beer bottle dusted with cocoa powder is a fantastic idea to create that sweet squat mushroom stem. How inventive! Since I am in a shortbread baking kind of mood this weekend I thought about trying this recipe if we can squeeze it in to the crazy weekend that will be happening…
I have included their recipe if you want to try it for yourself:
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon table salt
Cocoa powder (about 1/4 cup)
Sift together flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar and salt. Add softened butter and vanilla, and mix thoroughly until a thick but light dough is formed. It should be soft but not too sticky, and easy to handle.
Roll the dough into 1″ balls and place about 1″ apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silpat mats. Place about 1/4 cup of cocoa powder into a small bowl, and about 1/4 cup water in to a separate small bowl.
Dip the top of the soda/beer bottle into water and shake off any excess. Dip the bottle into the cocoa powder and tap the side to shake if any excess. Gently press the bottle straight into one of your dough balls, pressing just barely into the dough, only about 1/4″ inch, then pull the bottle away.
Continue with the rest of your cookies, dipping your bottle into the cocoa between each pressing. If it gets too light, do another water-dip then keep going.
Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Take them out when they are just done, and barely the tiniest bit brown on the bottom. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
– You can substitute flour for the cornstarch if you like, it will make the cookies a little more dense and toothsome. I definitely reccomend using the cornstarch if possible, it really adds to the delicate and crumbly nature of the cookies.
(All images and recipe text copyright Bake it Pretty, cookie cutter image embellished by J. Michie)