As Winter is approaching so is the time to start having your humble abode being enveloped with the scent of homemade cookies. There aren't too many foods which can result in smiles quite like homemade cookies.
After spending some time in Norway and eating beyond my weight in some incredible pastries, I created this dough. When prepared as a regular cookie, it is a perfect Norwegian butter cookie. I wanted something more. After numerous attempts to find perfection, I dropped the idea of a cookie and went for a bar instead. What you will have here is a very rich, almost shortbread, type of cookie bar. I then frosted it with a vanilla cream frosting, topped it with some organic dried cranberries and the final result is Norwegian Shortbread Bars!
The vanilla cream which we use is a simple mixture of powdered sugar, heavy cream and a drop or two of pure vanilla.
Ingredients needed to make Norwegian Shortbread Bars (serving amount depends on size):
- 1 1/2 cups butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tbs. vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1 egg
- 4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 Tbs. anise seeds
- Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9x9 baking pan with parchment paper.
- Into a mixer with the paddle attachment, add the butter and sugar and beat until pale and light. Add the vanilla, almond extract and egg and beat until very well combined.
- Into a large bowl add all the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Add the butter mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to make a dough (do not beat or you will lose the texture you're looking for).
- Place the dough into the prepared pan and using your hands, pat the dough down.
- Place into the oven and bake 40 minutes or until the sides begin to break away from the pan.
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan 10 minutes.
- Remove from the pan and let cool on a rack.
- Once totally cooled, frost with vanilla cream, top with dried cranberries and cut into bars.
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