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Archive for October, 2014

Dried Cherry Shortbread Bigger is better, especially when it comes to cookies. Not because you get more yummy-in-your-tummy, but because big cookies are meant to be shared. For casual entertaining, have fun and save time by making big or “slab” cookies. This delectable shortbread recipe starts out in a large tart pan, but ends up being cut into shareable squares. Or like Salted Butter Breakups, a recipe which I wrote about over a year ago, you can break it up with your hands and share pieces with your friends.

Dried Cherry Shortbread
The Art of the Cookie by Shelly Kaldunski

INGREDIENTS
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1½ cups sugar
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped

DIRECTIONS
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Have ready a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together the butter and 1¼ cups of the sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Beating on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture, beating until almost incorporated.

4. Add the vanilla and dried cherries and beat on low speed just until the dough forms large clumps and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

5. Using your hands, evenly press the dough into the tart pan. With a fork, prick the entire surface, making holes 1/4 inch deep at 1-inch intervals.

6. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake until the center is very lightly golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Immediately sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar evenly over the shortbread and use a sharp chef’s knife to cut it into squares. Let cool in pan, about 30 minutes.

7. Remove the cookies from the pan and store in an airtight container, layered between sheets of parchment paper at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Makes about 30 cookies

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. For the best flavor, use a quality brand of butter.

2. Check the shortbread after 25 minutes and keep an eye on it, so it does not get too dark.

Enjoy!

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October 3, 2014 Edition Drunk on milk, Charlotte sleeps contentedly in my mother’s arms. My dad looks on and says to me, “Right now, under this roof, there are four generations.” Remarkable indeed. Charlotte is blessed with four great-grandparents who love her and who will share their infinite wisdom with her. And because life is a two-way street, these great-grandparents receive blessings in return. A new baby in the family invigorates spirits, brings new meaning to life, and expands the capacity to love.

#1 – For Children’s Sake
16 Simple Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste A recurring discussion in my household pops up every time my husband tosses out something that can be recycled, upcycled, re-purposed, or re-used. I used to say to him, “Imagine what the world is going to be like for your grandchildren, if the majority of the people in this world are not more conscientious.” Now that we have a granddaughter, I say to him, “Think about the world you want Charlotte to live in.” Start today. Do your share. The children are counting on us. To that point, here are 16 Simple Ways to Reduce Plastic Waste.

#2 – Iris’s World
Iris Grace: 5 Year-Old Autistic Girl With a Gift Iris Grace is not your average 5-year-old. With an eye for color and movement, Iris paints “masterpieces” that are sold around the world. She is also autistic. Despite the fact that she barely speaks, she expresses herself beautifully through her artwork.

#3 – It’s Autumn
12 Before-And-After Photos of Autumn's Beautiful Transformations In the northern hemisphere, the autumnal equinox or the first day of autumn occurred last week. With 90-degree temperatures predicted for this weekend, it’s hard to make the transition from summer to autumn here. To help ease the transition, here are 12 Before-And-After Photos of Autumn’s Beautiful Transformations.

#4 – Best Friends
With the help of his cat-friend Pudditat, an old, blind and partially deaf dog named Tervel, can get around and enjoy the rest of his life.

#5 – Your World
“Children reinvent your world for you.”
Susan Sarandon

Now go and spread joy!

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