Leaves you'll love to rake up

October 05, 1994|By Nancy Byal | Nancy Byal,Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

Fall's gentle shower of leaves may inspire you to make these rich shortbread cookies. Use leaf-shaped cookie cutters to shape the dough or bake traditional Scottish-style shortbread wedges. The buttery flavor makes this cookie melt in your mouth, so be sure to use the real thing. Start with the plain butter version, then branch out to the ginger or orange-poppy seed variations. Because these cookies are so rich, you'll want to use regular cookie sheets; insulated cookie sheets may cause the butter to leak out during baking.

Shortbread Cookies

Makes 12 to 14 cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup butter

milk (optional)

coarse sugar (optional)

In a medium mixing bowl stir together flour and sugar. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs and starts to cling. Form into a ball. Knead in the bowl about 1 minute or until smooth.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 -inch thickness. Using desired cutters or a knife, cut into shapes that are 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter, rerolling and cutting trimmings as necessary. If desired, brush cutouts with milk and sprinkle with sugar. Arrange on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake in a 325-degree oven for 14 to 16 minutes or until bottoms fTC just start to brown. Remove to wire rack to cool.

Per cookie: 123 cal., 8 g fat, 21 mg chol., 1 g pro., 12 g carbo., 78 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.

Ginger Shortbread: Prepare cookies as above, except stir 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger and 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger into flour.

Orange-Poppy Seed Shortbread: Prepare as above, except stir 2 teaspoons poppy seed and 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel into the flour mixture.

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