Showing posts with label bestseller. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bestseller. Show all posts

Friday, February 26, 2016

Almond Shortbread

Adapted from Favorite Irish Teatime Recipes

I promised you another cookie recipe, so here it is. Well, it’s not exactly a cookie, it’s a shortbread. They’re pretty easy to make, and not too sweet. This one’s a little different because it has a sort of meringue frosting on top, plus sliced almonds, which gives a nice crunch.

A note: a lot of recipes call for “rubbing in the butter” by hand. I often cheat and use a food processor, because (a) it’s faster, and (b) the butter is distributed more evenly. If you’re a traditional baker, go ahead and get your hands into the mixture. The result tastes good either way.

Almond Shortbread

5 oz./1 cup flour
1 heaping Tblsp ground rice (you could grind your own, 
   but I happened to have some rice flour on hand)
2 heaping Tblsp sugar
4 oz. (one-half stick) butter, at room temperature
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 egg white
4 oz./1 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 oz. sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (yes, that's low). Grease a 7” round pan.

In a bowl, mix the flour, ground rice and sugar, then rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs (or use a food processor for the whole thing here).

Add the egg yolks and mix to form a stiff dough. Knead until smooth, then roll out on a lightly floured surface until it will fit into the pan. Press in until flat, then prick with a fork. 

Cover the dough with a piece of foil and bake for 25-30 minutes.

I had to include this--it's my antique sifter
Whisk the egg white until it forms soft peaks, the sift the confectioner’s sugar and fold it in.

Remove the pan from the oven, take off the foil, and spread the icing mixture over the top. Sprinkle with the almonds, then return to the oven and bake for another 20-25 minutes.

After the first baking

After the second baking
Cool the shortbread in the pan, then cut into wedges when it is cool.


A Turn for the Bad (County Cork Mystery #4) is a Barnes and Noble mass market bestseller for three weeks in a row! You can order it at Barnes and Noble and Amazon, or look for it in your local bookstores.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Jam Tarts

by Sheila Connolly

Happy Valentine's Day

(adapted from 101 Brilliant Baking Ideas)

As we weathered our second snowstorm in the space of four days here in New England—no, let me be specific: my particular county in Massachusetts, which seems to have gotten more snow than any other county in the state—I felt a craving for cookies. Baking is warm; sugar+butter is good. So I baked.

Now you know we at MLK make cookies (and desserts) quite often, and sometimes it’s hard to find a “new” (to us) cookie recipe, but I was prepared with two cookbooks that I brought back from Dublin last year, from a small bookshop near Trinity College. The recipe here is also akin to my last recipe, for Singin’ Hinnies, because there are many British books that mention jam tarts in passing. But I’d never made them, or seen a recipe. So here they are!

Jam Tarts

1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, cold
2-1/4 cups flour
1 Tblsp confectioner’s sugar
2 egg yolks
2 Tblsp ice water (have more on hand if needed)
Jam (your choice!)

Dice the butter and put it into a food processor, along with the flour and the sugar. Pulse until the butter is incorporated and the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.

Add the egg yolks and ice water and pulse again until the mixture begins to hold together. 

Gather the dough into a ball, and flatten it into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap, then chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and cut out circles with a 2” cookie cutter. [An aside: your baking tins may vary in size. Your cookie cutter should be about the same diameter as the widest part of the tin. You’ll find out quickly how it works.] Fluted edges are pretty but not necessary.

Put the circles in mini tart tins and press into place. [Another aside: don’t try to make them fit exactly. All you really need to do is press down on the middle to make a nice hollow for what’s coming next. I used the rounded end of an ice cream scoop, which doesn’t tear the dough.]

Fill each one with a about a teaspoon of jam (use your favorite variety, or mix and match—I went with a jar of black currant jam that I brought back from Ireland). Do not heap the jam, or it will overflow and stick to the pan and make a mess. [This I know from experience!]

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the edges of the pastry are crisp and golden.

Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then finish cooling on a rack. (Watch out: the jam just out of the oven can be really hot!).

You will find there is a learning curve to making these. I produced a bunch which were less than picture-perfect before I arrived at a tidy plateful. I ate the evidence.

And! A Turn for the Bad was #8 in mass market paperbacks at Barnes and Noble in its first week on sale! Thank you all!