I am so excited to be participating in the Great Food Blogger's Cookie Swap 2012. I have received some great cookies in the mail from a few very talented bloggers. I have to give a shout out to www.wineandplum.com for their delicious Chinese Chai cookies, www.travelerinthekitchen.blogspot.com for the scrumptious Peppermint Mocha Cookies and Praline Cookies from www.sweetjeanette.com . I must admit that this is the first time that I had to send food through the mail and was a little anxious. I typically make soft cookies or something fruit or cream filled which would not have worked for this purpose, considering one of my recipients was in Seattle. I had to put on my thinking cap.... I asked a lot of friends who benefited from my baking in the past; what cookie that I make is their favorite? I began getting text messages, emails, and people bringing me new recipes that they wanted me to bake because they did not feel that they could. This really gave me a lot of great feedback but once again the "cookie suggestions" were not mail appropriate.
Sometimes, life changes and takes a direction that you don't expect. Mine really has. From my experiences, I have learned one thing: the great things in life all come back into your life. They are ever-present. In the past 2 years, I have rediscovered great friendships, grown a lot stronger relationship with my little sister and parents, learned to reappreciate the little things and reimmersed myself in things I really love, including this blog. I believe that sometimes this circle of life and change gives you little signs of hope to keep you going. My little, lost cookie is back and although minor to most, it is a great sign. With every little thing that reappears in my life now, I know that all will be OK. I know that I have come full circle. I know that there is Hope. And isn't that what Christmas is all about....
Bourbon Spiced Shortbread Cookies
1 cup Butter, softened
2/3 cup sifted powdered sugar
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
2 tsp bourbon (optional: if you don't add bourbon don't add the extra 2 Tbsp flour)
1/2 of a block of almond bark white chocolate, melted
Beat butter at medium speed of an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugar beating well after each addition. Add all spices and bourbon. Beat well. On low speed, mix in flour. The dough will be stiff.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. At this time, I place covered dough in fridge for about 15 minutes. Take handfuls of dough out of the fridge and roll out to 1/4 inch thick on floured board. Cut into desired shape. Place on a cookie sheet. You can place these cookies fairly close together because they do not expand.
Bake for 12-15 minutes depending on the size and shape of the cut out cookie. They should be slightly brown just on the edges. Let cool on the cookie sheet for about 5 minutes and then move them to a cooling rack. They need to stay on the cookie sheet because when you take them out of the oven they are soft. As they cool, they will firm up. These can be stored in a airtight container for a week or they can be frozen and brought out at a later time.
If you would like to add a little Christmas flair as I did, dip the top of the tree in white melted white chocolate and place on a drying rack. Sprinkle with colored sprinkles and allow to dry.
Yield: I got about 4.5 dozen but it will depend on the size of your cookie cutter.