Red Fife Shortbread Cookies

Wowza have we ever had a week of winter walloping! We’ve had 30+ centimeters of snow dumped onto the our fair city in less than 48 hrs, followed by a deep freeze reminiscent of the North Pole. It’s safe to say that it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas for us Edmontonians.

DSCN0707This is why my lovely cousin Sarah and I decided to get together to do some holiday baking. Here’s the obligatory ingredient shot (the butter is already getting doused in flour. Hmm!)

I should let you all know that I’ve returned to the Strathcona Market to help my good friend John Schneider sell his fantastic organic grains, once more. As I work with his incredible products again, I (of course) am inspired to incorporate them into some rockin’ recipes. Stay tuned for some upcoming grainy goodness in my posts.

DSCN0709I used Gold Forest Grain’s Red Fife wheat for these cookies. I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for some time now, as the flour has natural notes of cinnamon and nutmeg – the quintessential ingredients for holiday baking. After making shortbread for the first time with my friend Melody, I was astounded at how simple and delicious it really is. All it takes is three ingredients. That’s it! So, I just had to make some Red Fife ones.

DSCN0710Add the softened butter, flour and sugar to a bowl. Mix thoroughly. When it says mix thoroughly, I would recommend busting out your stand mixer. We used our hands, and it only worked medium well. (See? it’s still a little crumbly, when it should be fully incorporated together.)

DSCN0711Next, transfer the mixture to a pan and roll it out flat. So, my rolling pin didn’t fit into my pan. What do you do when your rolling pin doesn’t fit into your pan?

DSCN0712Why, you use a can of pop that’s been sitting in your fridge for over a year! (We are not pop fans in our house – so this little guy has gone and will go untouched… anyone want some diet coke?)

DSCN0713Press the cookie dough firmly into the pan, then pop it into the freezer for about 10 mins, until firm.

DSCN0714Here is the pan, pressed and cooled. Now the cookies are easy to cut into perfect squares, which can then be transferred to a cookie sheet and popped into the oven for some baking love. That was the plan, until we realized that our dough was a little too crumbly for perfect squares. Oh well, they were delicious none-the-less.

DSCN0715We even used a pizza cutter to cut the squares out of the pan. It was a pretty fun tool to use for this project.

DSCN0717Here are the little delicious squares of holiday yum. I honestly suggest picking up a bag of Red Fife for your Christmas baking, if you’d like something a little less conventional than your straight up all purpose flour. The Red Fife gave these little beauties a unique depth of flavour that will change the way you view the holidays (or at least it has for me!)

Red Fife Shortbread Cookies

You will need:

2 cups butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

4 cups whole grain Red Fife wheat flour

(No seriously, that’s it.)

Make sure your butter is soft by either giving it a few seconds in the microwave, or by bringing it to room temperature on the counter. Add sugar and flour. Mix thoroughly, using your hands or an electric mixer, until all ingredients are fully combined. (I would even recommend adding the flour gradually as you’re mixing. We found that the cookies were pretty flaky and crumbly, and that might be because the red fife is an entire grain flour – meaning that all the wheat germ is still intact.) You’re looking for a texture where all of the batter is moist from the butter, and it holds together nicely when you form a small ball or pinch it.

Preheat oven to 350. Once combined, press the mixture into a large square pan and freeze for 10 mins. Once firm, take it out of the freezer and cut into perfect little squares. Transfer to a greased baking sheet and bake for 15-20 mins, until cookies are very light brown on top.

Serve with a warm cup of run and eggnog on a cold winter’s evening. Enjoy!





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