Years ago, and I mean YEARS ago, like before my kiddos were born years. I often made Martha Stewart’s dried cranberry shortbread hearts. This shortbread was a favorite at home and at the office that I worked at, coworkers would pop by often to see what treats I had and these were always gone in a flash.
I almost always used candied cherries instead of dried cranberries as they give it an extra little something. I also would cut them into hearts, but hated that I lost cookies with the trimmings, so I started to cut them into squares. Then one day I had some mini chocolate chips to use up and thought, why not? Then I cut them into rectangles instead of squares.
A few weeks ago, I wanted some cookies for a workshop I was hosting, but I didn’t want to spend too much time in the kitchen. I remembered Martha’s Shortbread and that I could whip them up in minutes. Now I can barely keep them in the house, Hubby sneaks a few, the kiddos sneak a few, then all of a sudden the tin is empty. I throw together another batch, changing it up slightly and poof! Those are gone too! Thank you Martha Stewart, for giving us quick and easy shortbread for all to enjoy!
1 cup of butter, softened
3/4 cup of icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup finely chopped dried cranberries, or candied cherries, or mini chocolate chips
preheat oven to 325.
Combine butter, icing sugar, vanilla, flour and salt in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your electric mixer. Mix until all ingredients are combined.
Add cranberries, cherries, or chocolate chips
Press batter evenly into 8×8 or 9×9 square baking pan. Bake until just turning golden, about 20 minutes. Place pan on cooling rack until cool to the touch, about 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edge and turn shortbread out onto a cutting board. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut into hearts or cut with a knife into squares or rectangles.
We seem to enjoy these brownies far more than many other treats, mostly because they are so simple to make. All you need is a pot for the stove and a baking pan and you are good to go. We share them with friends often, sending a tray over the barn for the gals working or a tray to the boys at the field when airsoft is in season. We always make extra so we have some left at home by making a double batch. Making a double batch is very easy, just double the brownie ingredients and use a 9×13 cake pan.
The secret to the gooeyness, which is the essence of the Farmhouse Brownie, is that you must stir the eggs, sugar and vanilla into the melted butter and chocolate very well. If you don’t, the brownies turn out tasty, but more dense and not as gooey. You know it is just right, when the batter has an elastic consistency and wipes clean from the side of the saucepan. Once this happens you are ready for the flour.
24 servings Ingredients:
1/2 c butter
2oz unsweetened chocolate
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8x8inch baking pan and set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Allow to cool a little, you don’t want it too hot when you add the eggs.
Add vanilla, sugar and eggs. Stir until well combined.
Add flour and mix well.
Pour batter into greased pan. Bake at 325F for 30 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
We cut these into about 1″ squares to make them bite-sized, not that you can’t make them bigger, but this way you are enjoying just a bite and they tend to last longer. You can ice these with your favorite chocolate icing, however, we prefer them plain. Serve with a glass of milk, vanilla ice cream or all on their own.
Which ever way you decide to enjoy them, just make sure you include a friend or two to share with.
Despite the unseasonably warm temperatures, it is still Fall. And Fall usually means all things pumpkin around here. I realized yesterday that I hadn’t made some Pumpkin Bread yet, so I had to remedy the situation. With a little help from Apple, we were knee deep in Pumpkin Bread and thankfully she loves it too!
Here is a quick and easy recipe for Pumpkin Bread, best enjoyed with a hot coffee or tea and while enjoying a bit of Fall sunshine.
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger or cloves (I add both!!)
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup shortening
1 cup all purpose flour
Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of your mixer) combine 1c. flour, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, nutmeg, ginger and cloves. Once combined add pumpkin, mild, eggs and shortening. Beat with mixer on low speed until fully blended. Add the other 1 cup of flour; beat until blended.
Pour batter into pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 60 – 65 minutes. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, remove loaf from pan.
Enjoy with or without butter
Notes: I normally make a double batch at once in my Kitchen Aid mixer. If you don’t have a large mixer, I would do it one at a time. I usually buy the large can of pumpkin which makes two and a bit loaves, so if you have room in your freezer, and think it will actually last long enough in there, go for it! Another note, if you like walnuts and raisins both can be added to this recipe and make for a delightful addition. I do use the walnuts once in a while, and raisins if I want Hubby to love it. But to send to school for a snack I keep all the nuts away and just send it with a little butter and an extra heaping of love.