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Thursday, February 3,2011

Spicy Cinnamon Shortbread Cookies

By Danette Randall

 

 

Well, I know typically January is a low-fat, healthy, “I’m-going-to-stick-to-my-resolution” kind of month. I, however, always think of January as a comfort food kind of month — treats that soothe the soul and warm the heart.

 

This particular dessert might not scream comfort to you, but I think comfort means different things to different people (yeah, I’m observant like that). You might crave a warm slice of pie or a steaming cup of homemade cocoa, but for me it’s buttery goodness that melts in your mouth.

This week’s recipe is Spicy Cinnamon Shortbread Cookies. This isn’t a warm, gooey dessert, but the spice will warm you from the inside out. They are actually wedges, but putting wedge in the title reminds me of cheese, or the ever popular heel on a women’s boot.

Those are visions I don’t need running through your head while contemplating making these heavenly, sent-from-above cookies.

Boy, I do put a lot of pressure on my treats, but I know these will live up to my expectations. Not only are they buttery with the perfect texture, but they are chock-full of cinnamon, which for me seals the deal in any baked good. The big surprise is the hit of chile powder that goes into the mix. Just enough to add a bit of heat, but not too much that you need a beer chaser to recover.

This recipe has just plain and simple ingredients, the best kind of recipe. If you really like to spice things up — and who doesn’t? — you should head to the Savory Spice Shop on Broadway and pick up its chile powder. They have a hot chile powder that is just perfect, smooth and easy, the stars-are-smiling-down-on-you kind of perfect. Pick up some cinnamon while you’re there too; it’s simply delicious.

See how excited these little treats have me? I guess it makes sense, since my dream for years was to be a

Spice Girl, but they just had no use for Shorty Spice. Whatever, who got the last laugh? Well, I guess them, but no worries, I’m happy baking for my peeps, and creating recipes that put a smile on your face.

So please, make these bad boys and validate my decision to bake instead of being a Spice Girl (because I had a choice, really I did).

Now, follow the directions, put some love into it and invite me over when it’s done.


Spicy Cinnamon Shortbread Cookies

2 cups flour

1/4 cup cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. chile powder

1/8 tsp. salt

1 cup unsalted butter (room temp.)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two 8-inch round cake pans with foil, pressing foil smoothly into pan. Lightly grease the foil.

In small bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch, cinnamon, chile powder and salt. Set aside.

In large bowl, cream together butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix in flour mixture slowly. Dough will be a little stiff. Gather dough into a ball.

Take half of the dough and press firmly down into one of the prepared pans. With lightly floured fork, press gently around the edges to crimp the dough.

Repeat with other half of dough.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until shortbread is golden brown and firm to touch. Take out of oven and gently score with a sharp knife into eight wedges (do not go all the way through). Let cool completely.

When cooled, pull out of pan, peel down foil and, using a serrated knife, cut wedges all the way through. Dust with cinnamon or confectioner’s sugar if desired. Enjoy!

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com

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