Hearst Castle Shortbread Cookies With Honey

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William Randolph Hearst was a big fan of shortbread cookies, and this is an adaptation of a recipe in The Castle Cookbook.

The Castle Cookbook

The Castle Cookbook

The original recipe calls for sugar, but I think honey makes the cookies tastier. I think “The Chief” would have approved!

Santa_s-Shortbread-Cookies-My-Recipes_1.card

Yield:  3-4 dozen

Ingredients

4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 lb unsalted butter

1 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

powdered or decorative sugar for sprinkling on top. (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.

In a mixing bowl beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the honey and beat again, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl once or twice as you are mixing. Beat in the vanilla extract. . Add the flour mixture in two additions. Stir until everything comes together into a thick dough.

Wrap dough in plastic and chill completely in the refrigerator – about thirty minutes. When the dough is chilled, use a rolling pin to roll the dough out 1/4-1/2-inch thick. Cut the dough into desired shapes using cookie cutters or a knife and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are barely golden.

Sprinkle with powdered or decorative sugar if desired.

Holidays With Honey – Gingerbread Men

Gingy

“Run! run! as fast as you can!
You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

Who doesn’t love Gingerbread Men? Especially when they’re made with honey rather than molasses. Have some fun and make these tasty cookies. They’re great for gifts and decorations too!

This recipe makes a light brown Gingerbread Man, like the one above.

Yield:   26 Servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup honey

1 egg

2 tablespoons water

2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon each ground cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice

Directions

In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the honey, egg and water. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice; add to creamed mixture and mix well. Divide dough in half. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until easy to handle.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out each portion of dough to 1/8-in. thickness. Cut with a floured 4-in. cookie cutter. If you don’t have a cookie cutter, you can make your own templates from paper or cardboard. (I think that’s more fun!)

Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Re-roll scraps.

Bake at 350° for 8-10 minutes or until edges are firm. Remove to wire racks to cool completely. Decorate as desired with icing recipe which follows.

Decorating Buttercream (for piping details)

This makes a LOT of icing. You may want to cut the recipe in half.

Cream until smooth:

6 oz  (1 1/2  sticks) butter (room temperature)

1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar

¼ tsp kosher salt

1 tsp pure vanilla

Add:

1 tbsp evaporated milk (you may need more)

Beat briefly until light and smooth. Color as desired.

After piping on cookies, this icing should set 6-8 hours or overnight. This icing does not dry hard but will “crust” so cookies can be handled.

Mini Strawberry Honey Pies

Spring and strawberries just go together. This recipe is for all of you fruit pie lovers out there, and who isn’t? These Baby Pies are fresh, dainty and delicious…

Ingredients

Crust:

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2 unroll-and-bake refrigerated 9-inch pie crusts (recommended: Pillsbury)

Filling:

  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon arrowroot
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 8 medium strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch pieces, to yield about 1 1/4 cups
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Special equipment: a 12-count nonstick mini-muffin pan, a 3-inch round cookie cutter, a 2-inch round cookie cutter

Directions

Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

For the crust: Spray a 12-count nonstick mini-muffin pan with vegetable oil cooking spray. Put a strip of parchment paper, 1-inch wide and 5-inches long into each muffin cup, allowing the excess paper to overhang the sides of the cups. Unroll the pie crust and using round cookie cutters, cut out 12 (3-inch) circles and 12 (2-inch) circles of dough. Lightly press the 3-inch circles of dough into the bottom and sides of the prepared muffin cups.

For the filling: In a small bowl, whisk together the honey, lemon juice, arrowroot, and orange zest until smooth. Stir in the strawberries.

Spoon the filling into the muffin cups and using a pastry brush, lightly brush the edges of the dough with beaten egg. Put the 2-inch circles of dough on top. Using the tines of a fork press the edges of the dough together to seal. Lightly brush the tops of the pastry with the beaten egg. Using the tip of a knife, make a 1/4-inch wide slit in the center of each pie. Bake until the crust is golden, about 14 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes. Using the overhanging parchment paper as handles, remove the pies from the pan. Remove the parchment paper and serve