Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday cookies: Celtic shortbread galore and a whole lot more.....!

It feels like I have not been blogging for the longest time! Yep, the Holidays are certainly my busiest period for my crafts and culinary delights and deadlines have to be met! You guys have become my family in the blogosphere and I do miss you all so terribly when I do not communicate with you on a regular basis. May you only have joy and peace during the Holidays and may all your wishes come true! God bless!!!

Celtic Designer shortbread ( Made in a mold) I made this design with all my Irish friends in mind but it is to be enjoyed by all in kind!!!

This shortbread is a far cry from the boxed version! When you bite into my homemade version, the "crumb" simply melts on your tongue. This shortbread offers absolutely no resistance to your taste buds! A shortbread connoisseur knows just by looking at this cookie that there will be no "snap" here just a soft crunch and then ahhhh...... complete and utter meltdown! This buttery cookie is made of the most superior ingredients and they may just make you dance an Irish jig . Ha! ha!
Please see my Grandmother's recipe below! I owe Her and my Mother a great debt of gratitude for this innate culinary and crafty artistry I possess! I have an insatiable quest to adapt all my Grandmother's recipes to above 5280 ft above sea level here in Colorado!! Believe me this altitude is a force to be reckoned with and I want nothing less than that same superior quality that she demanded!

Click on pictures! Rich buttery shortbread

A little dip in chocolate heaven!

Click here for recipe "Ginger choc crust cookies with eggnog shots"
Another one of my Grandmother's favorite Holiday cookies. One has to use roasted dessicated coconut in this cookie. See the eggnog recipe below if you prefer a homemade one.

Click here for recipe " Aero peppermint cookie"
This was my favorite chocolate bar when I was growing up in South Africa. Now I have made it into a cookie! This cookie has matcha powder in it and exudes an air of Christmas spirit because of the peppermint extract.

Holiday cookies 2007! Last year I taught a bunch of little children to make cookies for their trees. Their parents approached me again this year, but I said that I was busy! Oh come on!, I am really snowed under!!!

"Gingerbros"( This is what my nephew calls it and may I add that this gingerbread is not hard like some gingerbread tend to get if they should sit for a day!! It has a light crisp and a delightful chew! I shall have to post this recipe another time or e-mail me if you guys are really interested in this gingerbread). I use golden syrup in this cookie, a British product!

Edible shortbread cookie ornaments ( stained glass and royal icing)

Holiday cookies of 2006! ( My first attempt at the edible Christmas ornaments ha! ha!


Celtic shortbread plain:

Organic ingredients an absolute must!
  • 4 oz European butter ( rm. temp). During the winter months in Denver, the butter is still cold and a little hard even though it was left out of the refrigerator for 3 hours)
  • 1T rice flour
  • 1\3 c powdered sugar
  • 1 c McArthurs unbleached all purpose flour, minus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 T organic corn starch
Please double the amounts! Place all the dry ingredients in a bowl ( do not sift) and then rub the butter into this flour mixture until it resembles little pebbles. Press the dough together firmly and then knead into a smooth shiny ball. If you do not have molds, then just press into round cake pans( 7 inch well greased), prick with a fork all over and bake in a 325 degree oven for about 45- to 55 mins until golden. Cut into wedges if using a round cake pan or you could use an 11 inch x 7 inch rectangular pan and cut into squares. The idea for this shortbread is to have thick bar- like shapes!

Ginger and cardamom shortbread
  • 1 stick European butter( rm. temp)
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 2t ground ginger
  • 1/4 t cardamom
  • 1 c all purpose McArthur's flour minus 2 T
  • 1 T rice flour
  • 1 T cornstarch
Mix the butter until creamy. Add the brown sugar, ginger and cardamom and mix well until smooth and creamy . Add the unsifted flours and incorporate and then knead into a smooth ball. Follow the same baking instructions as for the Celtic shortbread !

Chocolate shortbread
  • 4 oz European butter
  • 1/2 c powdered sugar
  • 1 t good vanilla extract
  • 1 c flour minus 2T
  • 1 T rice flour
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 11/2 T Dutch cocoa powder.
Follow the same instructions as above.

Homemade virgin eggnog ( I do temper the eggs!) Then again if I do not want to make it from scratch, I rely on the Borden for the canned or just a good organic refrigerated brand. I must confess that the freshly made version does have that extra creamy taste!

  • 3 Egglands best eggs
  • 1 T organic turbinado sugar
  • 3 and a half cups organic milk
  • some nutmeg
  • 1 c organic softly whipped heavy cream
  • 11/2 c melted New york vanilla ice cream
  • some imitation rum extract( I do not use liquor)
  • 1 T of deep vanilla( the one from Santo Domingo rocks!!!)
Separate the eggs and place only the yolks in a bain marie( water bath) and whisk with the sugar until frothy about 15 mins over medium heat. Save the whites for another time and another use. Take off the heat and let cool and then add the milk, flavorings and spice and whisk vigorously. When this mixture is really cool to the touch, transfer to a pretty punch bowl and then whisk in the melted ice cream. Gingerly whisk in half of the cream and last but not least "float" cannelles of the remainder of the whipping cream on top!

This eggnog will knock your socks off! It is a good thing Christmas only comes once a year!

An award ( Click on the "Superior scribbler award") , it should transport you to its birthplace for all the rules of this prestigious award!!!

This outstanding "Superior Scribbler Award" was given to me by REENI. ( Queen of American comfort cuisine) Thank you so much! I do scribble and doodle all the time but this is exactly where great creativity is born LOL! So, off it goes to:

Please enjoy!
Nazarina A


Lubna Karim said...

Oh My God back with Bang. Cookies look die for. Thanks for the award. Iam honoured.

Reeni said...

The shortbread cookies just took my breath away! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe, I can't wait to make them and feel them melt in my mouth. I love your edible ornaments, and seeing your progression each year. I'm in heaven with all of these cookies that are lovely to look at and even lovelier upon the palate!

Dawn said...

you were busy!
I love the eggnog shots! Clever.
And you're right, organic ingredients are best. I've never used european butter, yet.
I love the colors of the mint cookies! Fabulous!!

Snooky doodle said...

wow how many marvellous cookies. They are all great I wouldn t be able to decide if i had to chooce. Great job. Wish to try the shortbread recipes too

Gavan aka The Healthy Irishman said...

I love the celtic cookies. Very festive. They'll be perfect for St. Paddy's day in March. It's always great to see what your up to.

ncfoodie said...

I adore shortbread! Your cookies are beautiful. I think I'll try those ginger chocolate coconut cookies (they'll be just for me, since I'm the only coconut fan in the house!). Thank you so much for the award!! Truly an honor coming from you:)

Jo A. T.B. said...

Hi Nazarina,
I was here earlier, but had to come back to comment!

What beautiful work you create! I know what you mean about the superior quality. My own mother was very much the perfectionist, and eye presentation was always the focus of her Japanese upbringing. She like your mother and grandmother, taught me so much. It's so wonderful to carry on their traditions!

Your cookies and ornaments are stunningly festive. You could have a business with all the knowledge you have. I've tossed it around in my mind, but could never come up with the perfect location, or funds to put toward it!

I may just have to copy down your shortbread recipe! Looks wonderful, especially with the chocolate! Thanks for the award!

n33ma said...

Love those cookies...all of them look so delicious and festive!

Teresa Cordero Cordell said...

Hi there sweetie. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Your cookies are to die for. I love those molds. And of course your arrangement for the photography is absolutely marvelous. Way to go my young friend.

Dibs said...

Be it your soaps, or cookies, the designs and colour schemes are really amazing! Such and inspiration! I will surely try my hand at making some cookies now! Thanks a lot for the award. I am touched! I do scribble don't I? :-)))

Jacqui said...

I love shortbread and yours looks absolutely delicious. You are a busy lady.

Katherine Aucoin said...

The shortbread cookies look fabulous. I am going to try them and can only hope they come out looking half as good as yours.

Yasmeen said...

I understand your situation sweetie ,considering your excellent artistic skills,this is gotta the busiest season for you.I'll surely try the shortbread and the ginger bread man cookies,my son's gonna love it:).Did you post the recipe for ginger bread cookies?

Thanks for Considering me as a Superior scribbler:)

Chandani said...

cookies look so amazing!!! all your creations are always so creative, dear...

The Food Hunter said...

All your cookies look delicious.

mikky said...

how creative!!! i love everything you made... they are really awesome... cheers to you for your new award... you deserve it... :)

inland empire restaurant and food reviews said...

Dipped shortbread looks awesome!!

Live.Love.Eat said...

I just love the way you were describing those shortbread cookies!!! Everything looks awesome!

Sagan said...

Congrats on your award!

Those cookies are to die for. Aero was my favourite chocolate bar too!

BGF said...

Oh, you're right, you already are indulging, Nazarina!
What beautiful creations these are.
I will have to try that Celtic Shortbread recipe and the Aero Peppermint Cookies ... and the ... arrggh!
The Cookie Monster has taken over! :)

Pam said...

Wow. They all look fantastic. I especially love the egg nog shots. Congrats on your awards.

Anonymous said...

Hello! Thanks for visiting and the kind words about my Turkey Pot Pie! It's been a hit, and it's insanely easy!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Such pretty cookies! I love the Celtic shortbreads! Congrats on your award...



Passionate About Baking said...

WOW Naz...those cookies are STUNNING! What a fab way to ring in the season...I love the shortbread flavours...WOW again!!

Bunny said...

You are so amazing!! Honesty I love all those cookies, you are a baking artist!

ICook4Fun said...

Those cookies look too perfect to eat. I love all of them especially the Celtic cookies.

Cakebrain said...

Wow! fabulous looking cookies! this all reminds me I've got to get going baking mine soon!

Cooking nurse said...

Oh, so lovely! Thanks for idea!

P.S. Thanks for your comment on my blog!

Sunshinemom said...

Nazarina, thanks for visiting! Your blog is too good. Beautiful bakes and I just love those shortbreads. First time here and bookmarked already:)

Anonymous said...

Love the shortbread cookies. So pretty! And dipped in chocolate..oh my! :)

Couture Carrie said...

Yum, GG! The chocolate dipped ones look scrumptious!

Congrats on your award!


Vaala said...

The shortbread looks beautiful. I love the celtic patterns...very clever. The holiday cookies on the tree are cool too. I always thought that was a great idea but I've never actually done it. Perhaps I should this Christmas.

meeso said...

That's a lot of baking and decorating! Everything looks great!

MaryBeth said...

YUM!! every last one looks great.

simply.steph said...

freaking amazing! my mouth is watering as I type.

ochikeron said...

Your work is always amazing.
Your grandmother should be proud of you. How nice her work is beautifully passed to you.
Very interesting to combine matcha and peppermint! I've never thought about that!!!

Melissa said...

How do I choose which of these cookies I want to make? They're all gorgeous and look scrumptious, so I might have to try several of your recipes. Thanks for sharing all of them!

Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

hey nazarina
thanks for passing by my blog and i read your elaborate post and loved all your grandmother's recipes...these cookies reaaly look nice and will surely melt in the mouth for sure.

Audrey said...

Your cookies are all so lovely!

Debinhawaii said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Wow--your cookies are all so beautiful and look so good. Especially the aero ones--love the green and brown color! You were a busy woman!

Sabrina said...

They are all so beautiful!!!

Natashya said...

Wow! Your site, and especially your photos, just blow me away!
So beautiful, I just want to eat everything - including the soap!

Premyscakes said...

Sure your blog melts me. Very impressed of your granny's recipes.Thanks for sharing.

Jaya said...

All look so great here, and the creativity runs in the family ,thanks for sharing your Grand Mother's recipes with us...
enjoy the festive season..
Hugs and smiles

Christelle said...

Your decoration skills are shockingly outstanding, I am so impressed! :)
I love your bar soaps too, they look fabulous!

Mrs. L said...

I thought these looked good in the first photograph but man, once they were dipped in chocolate? Yum!

Sagari said...

cookies look beautiful

The Caked Crusader said...

I agree with you 100%! NOTHING can beat home made shortbread - yours looks particularly beautiful

Tiaras and Tantrums said...

oh I am going out today to get the ingred, for the shortbread! (I adore euro butter I have to say!)
The cookies are beautiful - really!!

Erin, Nick and Merrick said...

Where did you get those fab celtic molds??

Nazarina A said...

Hi Erin, Nick &Merrick,

I copied the design from a picture, transferred it to a wooden block, and my husband used his woodwork tools and a dremel to carve out the design. It was quite a bit of work though! LOL!

n33ma said...

My sis and I were looking at your blog and she too was totally blown away by your creativity.