Variations On Shortbread: Coconut and Tahini

I was telling a friend I was going to make Tahini shortbread cookies to use up the tahini I had leftover from the Tahini Walnut Rolls (recipe here). She asked if it was dairy free, because she’d like to make shortbread, but was avoiding dairy.

The original recipe wasn’t, but I thought I’d give it a try with just tahini. And then because I Iove coconut, I thought I’d do the same thing with coconut oil. So both of these are dairy free.  Continue reading

Friday Recipe Exchange: Filled Shortbread Cookies

Filled shortbread cookies

That blemish on that strawberry is going to haunt me. But the cookies were delicious. A bit of cooking going on this week. I’m also putting together my menu for my June visitors, which will probably be the topic for the next several recipe exchanges.

Tonight’s feature recipe was going to be used during that visit, but I won’t lie to you, it’s labor intensive and I decided there would be too much going on to try and attempt them. This is why I test-drive recipes. I refuse to be a tied to the kitchen when I could be having fun with my guests.

Before we get to that recipe, here is what else was cookin’ in my kitchen this week:

Rotelle No-Boil Pasta Bake – quick, easy and I love the little wheels. Click here for the recipe.

Leftover raspberries went into a nice salad: Pear-Raspberry Salad, recipe here.

Spring Roll step 1

And this week’s dinner menu was Chicken Satay and Thai Spring Rolls. Menu, recipe and shopping list are here and photo instructions for the spring rolls are here.

No Bixby this week (although his resistance video got picked up by I Love Great Danes and he’s quite popular. Insists on wearing shades when we walk now – no autographs please). But here is a little kitteh to end your week. She rules the big guy.

What’s on your plate this weekend? Have any warm weather recipes to share? Grilling, fresh greens, fun sweet treats?

Tonight’s featured recipe:

Raspberry and Strawberry Filled Shortbread Cookies

I was going to make my own filling, but when I realized how labor intensive rolling out shortbread dough was going to be, I went will all-fruit style jams instead.

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 2-1/2 cup unbleached flour
  • fruit filling – I went with strawberry (hearts) and raspberry (circles)
  • parchment paper (not optional)

cookie cutters (sharper the better), rolling pin, baking sheets

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add salt and then flour, about a third at a time, mixing gently until all flour is incorporated.  Divide dough in half. Place one half on parchment sheet, cover with another sheet of parchment and roll to about 1/8 inch thick. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat with the second section of dough. Place baking sheet in the refrigerator and cool for an hour.

Remove one of the dough parchment packets (keep the other refrigerated until ready to use). Peel off the top piece of parchment and cut out the large shapes, then for half the shapes, use a smaller cookie cutter to cut out the center. Move the center pieces from the center to the parchment, so they don’t bake back together. I used the center pieces to make sandwich cookies. Place the parchment on a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees (f) for about 15 to 20 minutes – remove them when they are light golden. Because they are thinner than regular shortbread, keep a good eye on them, they cook up quickly.

Repeat with the second parchment packet.

Remove cookies and let cool thoroughly before assembling. To assemble, place a spoonful of fruit filling in the center of the whole cookie and GENTLY press the cut out cookie on the top, allowing the fruit filling to spread to the edges and fill the center. (Resist the urge to lick the edges to smooth them out) Serve the centers plain or make fruit filled sandwich cookies as desired.

Makes about two dozen, depending on the size of the cookie cutters.

That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend – TaMara



 

Dinner Menu: Crispy Pecan Fish, Broccoli in Wine Sauce, and Shortbread

I thought I might post a grilling recipe this week, but our weather has been unsettled with thunderstorms, hail and tornado warnings that means grilling is out at the moment. This is a good menu if you’re stuck inside. I’ll have a grilling theme for the recipe exchange tomorrow. On the board tonight:

  1. Crispy Pecan Fish
  2. Hearty Bread
  3. Broccoli w/Garlic Wine Sauce
  4. Shortbread

Crispy Pecan Fish

  • 4-6 oz fish fillets –you’ll want a firm fish such as: red snapper, catfish, tilapia or haddock
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ to 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp thyme, crushed
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

2 bowls, skillet Mix together in a bowl: flour, ½ of each: cayenne, thyme, paprika, salt & pepper in large bowl. Heat oil in skillet. Put milk in separate bowl. Dip fish in milk, dredge in flour mixture and add to pan. Cook over med-high heat, turning once until golden brown on both sides. About 5-6 minutes. Remove fish, keep warm. Drain oil and then add butter to skillet, melt and add pecans, remaining half of spices, cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until pecans are lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Add lemon juice, spoon evenly over fish portions & serve.

Broccoli w/Garlic Wine Sauce

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 16 oz broccoli crowns
  • 1 cup dry white wine (non-alcoholic ok)
  • salt & pepper to taste

skillet w/cover

Heat oil, add garlic & broccoli, sauté 3-4 minutes. Add wine and let it boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover, lower heat to medium-low and cook for 2-3 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium and let remaining liquid simmer away, about 5 minutes more. Keep a close eye; you don’t want it to scorch. What you’re doing with this method is reducing the liquid until it is absorbed completely by the vegetables. Salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Shortbread

  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour

baking sheet

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in flour. Chill for an hour. Divide in half. Place each half on baking sheet and pat each into approx. 7 inch circle. Prick each with a fork to make 16 wedges (total of 32). Bake for 30 minutes at 300°

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Dinner Menu: Better Late than Never, Spicy Chicken Stew

It has been a crazy week and I was going to skip the weekly dinner menu, except it falls completely inline with the Friday Recipe Exchange tonight.

Meanwhile in the kitchen right now I’m making a gluten-free Pumpkin Cake, I’ll post the recipe later, as soon as I know if it came out ok. Company on the way to taste test. 🙂 Although they do not know  it.

On the board tonight:

  1. Spicy Chicken Stew
  2. Sweet Potatoes w/Apples
  3. Tossed Salad
  4. Shortbread

Spicy Chicken Stew

Slow-Cooker Meal

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 boneless breasts, large cubes
  • ½ lb smoked sausage, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tsp to 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

Slow-Cooker

Combine all ingredients (except almonds) into Slow-Cooker, cook according to manufacturer’s directions (usually on low) for 8-10 hours. Add almonds, simmer 5 minutes & serve.

Sweet Potatoes w/Apples

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 apples, cored & sliced
  • 8 oz can sliced pineapple (including liquid)
  • 2 tsp butter
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt

2 qt casserole dish, greased

Add sweet potatoes and ¼ cup water to casserole dish and microwave for 3 to 5 minutes (until potatoes are fork tender, add more water if needed) Add remaining ingredients to casserole dish, stir gently and bake at 450° for 20 to 30 minutes, uncovered, until apples and potatoes are very soft.

UPDATE: I just received an email from a friend who said that you can actually put all the ingredients from the stew and the sweet potato recipes into the same slow-cooker and create a very popular Mexican stew called Mancha Manteles.  Who knew?  I knew the two dishes complimented each other nicely…all together would be interesting.

Shortbread

  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour

baking sheet

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in flour. Chill for an hour. Divide in half. Place each half on baking sheet and pat each into approx. 7 inch circle. Prick each with a fork to make 16 wedges (total of 32). Bake for 30 minutes at 300°

Shopping List:

  • 4 boneless breasts
  • ½ lb smoked sausage
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 apples (my new favorite are Jazz)
  • 8 oz can sliced pineapple
  • 4 oz orange juice
  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour

Also: olive oil, cinnamon, salt, pepper

Originally published on January 2010

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Thursday Night Menu: Dinner with Flair Edition

Have been under the weather with a pesky cold all week. Too much travel, not enough rest and exercise. Lots of homemade soups, though, so there is an upside. Tonight is about recipes that have a bit more flair to them, but are still simple to prepare. If you’re not a fan of fish, you can easily substitute boneless chicken breasts: pound them flat and increase cooking time. Find a really nice whole grain bread and maybe some honey butter for the spread to compliment the fish, with broccoli and shortbread rounding out the meal.

On the board tonight:

  1. Crispy Pecan Fish
  2. Hearty Bread
  3. Broccoli w/Garlic Wine Sauce
  4. Shortbread

Crispy Pecan Fish

  • 4-6 oz fish fillets –you’ll want a firm fish such as: red snapper, catfish, tilapia or haddock
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¼ to 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp thyme, crushed
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

2 bowls, skillet

Mix together in a bowl: flour, ½ of each: cayenne, thyme, paprika, salt & pepper in large bowl. Heat oil in skillet. Put milk in separate bowl. Dip fish in milk, dredge in flour mixture and add to pan. Cook over med-high heat, turning once until golden brown on both sides. About 5-6 minutes. Remove fish, keep warm. Drain oil and then add butter to skillet, melt and add pecans, remaining half of spices, cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until pecans are lightly browned, 3-5 minutes. Add lemon juice, spoon evenly over fish portions & serve.

Broccoli w/Garlic Wine Sauce

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 16 oz broccoli crowns
  • 1 cup dry white wine (non-alcoholic ok)
  • salt & pepper to taste

skillet w/cover

Heat oil, add garlic & broccoli, sauté 3-4 minutes. Add wine and let it boil for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently. Cover, lower heat to medium-low and cook for 2-3 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to medium and let remaining liquid simmer away, about 5 minutes more. Keep a close eye; you don’t want it to scorch. What you’re doing with this method is reducing the liquid until it is absorbed completely by the vegetables. Salt & pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

Shortbread

Shortbread Wedges

 

  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour

baking sheet

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in flour. Chill for an hour. Divide in half. Place each half on baking sheet and pat each into approx. 7 inch circle. Prick each with a fork to make 16 wedges (total of 32). Bake for 30 minutes at 300°

Note:  There is no shopping list tonight.  I just could not wrap my brain around it.

Thursday Night Menu: Spicy Chicken Stew

Shortbread Wedges

Really? Another week has come and gone? It’s been a busy one, a productive one, but it went by too quickly. Because my schedule has been a bit crazy, you’ll notice someone has joined the What’s 4 Dinner Solutions’ team to help out – JeffreyW has already added some great cooking experiences and even better, pet pix! Check out his posts if you haven’t already. 

On the board tonight: 

  1. Spicy Chicken Stew
  2. Sweet Potatoes w/Apples
  3. Tossed Salad
  4. Shortbread

Spicy Chicken Stew 

Slow-Cooker Meal 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 boneless breasts, large cubes
  • ½ lb smoked sausage, cubed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tsp to 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds

Slow-Cooker 

Combine all ingredients (except almonds) into Slow-Cooker, cook according to manufacturer’s directions (usually on low) for 8-10 hours. Add almonds, simmer 5 minutes & serve. 

Sweet Potatoes w/Apples 

  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 apples, cored & sliced
  • 8 oz can sliced pineapple (including liquid)
  • 2 tsp butter
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp salt

2 qt casserole dish, greased 

Add sweet potatoes and ¼ cup water to casserole dish and microwave for 3 to 5 minutes (until potatoes are fork tender, add more water if needed) Add remaining ingredients to casserole dish, stir gently and bake at 450° for 20 to 30 minutes, uncovered, until apples and potatoes are very soft. 

UPDATE: I just received an email from a friend who said that you can actually put all the ingredients from the stew and the sweet potato recipes into the same slow-cooker and create a very popular Mexican stew called Mancha Manteles.  Who knew?  I knew the two dishes complimented each other nicely…all together would be interesting. 

Shortbread 

  • 1 cup butter
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour

baking sheet 

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in flour. Chill for an hour. Divide in half. Place each half on baking sheet and pat each into approx. 7 inch circle. Prick each with a fork to make 16 wedges (total of 32). Bake for 30 minutes at 300° 

Shopping List

  • 4 boneless breasts
  • ½ lb smoked sausage
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 green pepper
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 apples (my new favorite are Jazz)
  • 8 oz can sliced pineapple
  • 4 oz orange juice
  • 1 1/4 cups butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 ½ cups flour

Also: olive oil, cinnamon, salt, pepper