Friday, December 4, 2009

12 Days of Cookies - Day 4 - Cinnamon, Brown Sugar and Walnut Shortbread Diamonds

Okay, now that I've found a recipe with an even longer name than yesterday's... =)  Well, the first three days of this weren't bad.  I had several cookies baked before the 1st, so it was just a matter of taking pictures and writing posts.  Now things get interesting, as I try to bake more recipes and do everything else as well.  I had the best of intentions on Thursday.  I had the day off, so I thought I would be able to get at least three more recipes knocked out.  But I ended up with less time to bake than I planned.  All for a good reason, though.  My boss, who is currently on maternity leave, called me early in the morning.  I ended up having lunch with her and her adorable 6-week-old son.  Then I did a bit of shopping (Target, nothing exciting) and decided to pick the girls up on the early side since I was already out.  Sounded better to me than going home for a bit and then going back out.

Brianna and Gillian were actually pretty good--not driving me as crazy as usual.  So I figured I'd still be able to get some cookie baking accomplished.  And I had planned ahead a bit--I mixed up the dough for the shortbread before heading out to lunch.  So it had plenty of time to chill and was good to go.  I did run into a small problem.  The recipe actually says to cut the dough into crescent shapes.  I tried three different places and could not find a crescent cookie cutter anywhere.  So I decided to go with diamonds instead.  That plan had the added benefit of not having to deal with a lot of dough scraps.

Like most shortbread, the recipe only has a handful of ingredients.  To start, you whisk the flour with cinnamon and salt.  I used my strong cinnamon in these (higher oil content), since I figured the cinnamon should be prominent.  I added a bit more salt as well--the recipe calls for a generous 1/4 teaspoon, and I went with 1/2 a teaspoon.  You cream together butter and brown sugar, then mix in the dry ingredients and finish up by mixing in finely chopped toasted walnuts.  I usually toast my nuts in the oven while it's preheating, then chop them in the small bowl in my food processor.

The dough gets wrapped in plastic and chilled for at least a couple hours.  Without that fridge time, the dough would be too soft to roll out well and would spread too much in the oven.  In fact, after cutting the shapes and putting them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, the pan goes back into the fridge so the dough will be nice and cold when it hits the oven.  I baked my cookies for 25 minutes at 300 degrees F.

The verdict? The aroma from the baking cookies was amazingly good.  The whole house smelled fantastic, and Brianna asked me if I was baking another apple pie.  =)  They tasted pretty good, but like a lot of shortbread, I think these cookies need a little bit of time to age.  Not long out of the oven, my thought was that the cookies didn't taste as good as the dough had.  I do like them better the second day (which means yes, I sampled one for breakfast with my tea...).  And I think I'll skip the chocolate drizzle in the future--I really just don't like cinnamon and chocolate together.  Both girls had one for dessert last night and seemed fine with the chocolate, though. =)  I still have half the dough in the fridge, so I can experiment with other toppings, too.

If you'd like to try these, you can find the recipe here.

And be sure to check out the other bakers participating in the 12 Days of Cookies to see what they've baked up for today!

Andrea of Andrea's Recipes
(honorary member and our founder but not participating this year)
Courtney of Coco Cooks
Kelly of Sass & Veracity
Michelle of Big Black Dog
Tiffany of The Nesting Project


  1. Love the shape of these cookies and you are a very good drizzler! How pretty the way you decorated the cup...I'm definitely in the Christmas mood this year. Great looking cookies!

  2. I am very impressed with your ambitiousness and organization. I'm finding it difficult to write anything exciting these days....

  3. Loved the way you shaped these cookies and drizzled the chocolate! Great presentation!

  4. Nice job on these. I was wondering about the crescent cutter as well. Credit to you for the measuring -- I'm so lazy I'd wing it ; ) Love shortbread and the spice makes me want to try some of them. Still undecided about many of the choices...

  5. Funny, I just made shortbread sandwich cookies yesterday and thought they were much better the second day :)

  6. These are on my list, too, and no, I don't have a crescent cutter, either. I was thinking about faking it with a round cutter, but I'm re-thinking that, too. Love your drizzling. :-)

  7. The chocolate makes for a gorgeous shortbread cookie, but I'd probably agree with you on the taste: I like cinnamon better without chocolate.

  8. What beautiful cookies! Your drizzle is absolutely perfect! I'm also very impressed with your precise cutting of the cookies. I would probably free-hand it and end up with all different sizes and shapes...