Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coasters from Kaelin & Cookies

I have been reading The Plaid Scottie, a lovely and inspiring quilting blog, for a few months now. I am always excited to see new posts from Kaelin! She recently had a giveaway, and I won! I shared my favorite fall recipe with her (Brown Butter Shortbread), and I received my wonderful package yesterday. 

I've been sick all week with strep throat, and between being in bed and studying for school, I haven't gotten any sewing done recently! My to do list is long (and getting longer) so hopefully over Thanksgiving week I can knock out some projects. 

So first, pictures of the wonderful coasters from Kaelin. She also sent a starbucks gift card, which was so sweet and thoughtful. I love everything about them - the colors and fabrics are so perfect and just my taste! 

The fronts

and the backs

So thank you, Kaelin, for such a wonderful giveaway! 

And second, I want to share the Brown Butter Shortbread recipe. I do not know where it originally comes from, as my best friend Laura made these cookies for me and shared her recipe last year. These are so good you will have to hide them from yourself - plan on sharing! Let me know if you make these cookies - I want to know if anyone loves them as much as I do...

Brown Butter Shortbread

1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1/2 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Lightly grease a 9 1/2-inch round fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.  (I used a round cake pan with tin foil, leaving an overhang of foil, so you can easily lift the cookies out.)  

In a small saucepan over medium, melt the butter and continue to cook until it caramelizes and emits a nutty, butterscotch aroma.  You will notice brownflecks in the bottom of the pan as the butter deepens in color.  Be careful not to burn the butter.  Remove from the heat.

In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter with the sugar, vanilla and salt.  Add the flour and mix until incorporated.  Spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan.  Let stand for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.  Do not refrigerate.  (I left it overnight, and it was awesome.)

Preheat over to 300 degrees F.

Bake the shortbread for 45 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven but leave the oven on.  Lightly sprinkle the surface of the shortbread with the sugar.  Let cool for 10 minutes.

Very carefully remove the sides of the tart pan.  (Or carefully remove the shortbread from the pan using the aluminum foil as a sling.)  Use a very sharp and thin knife to cut it into 12 wedges.  Carefully place the slices slightly apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment and return them to the oven for 15 minutes to toast lightly.  Cool on a wire rack.

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