Before anything else, I’m going to tell you that I didn’t do this prompt. Between recovering from the surgery I had two and a half weeks ago and planning for the wedding, I’m both busy and low-stamina, and I’m home a lot.
Instead, I decided to make something that I would serve to a new friend who came to visit… or to an acquaintance I wanted to turn into a friend!
Cinnamon chip shortbread and a nice cup of tea! This is some aromatic Earl Grey with a splash of creamer (Wildwood, naturally). And isn’t MIke’s teapot & cup set the greatest? I’ve known him for over three years and it still makes me laugh.
King Arthur Flour sells these cinnamon chips – they call them flav-r-bites – and they really add something special to shortbread.
These aren’t creamy cinnamon chips; they’re made from grains. They’re crunchy until you add them to batter, and they soften up when you bake them. They add delightful pops of cinnamon flavor to whatever you bake them into. I bought them on a whim to round out an order once, and I’m glad I did. I’m having fun thinking of what I can add them to next.
Cinnamon Chip Shortbread (adapted from a recipe by Shirra at Juniper Moon Farm)
- 2 sticks vegan butter at room temperature (I used my homemade butter, which is just perfect)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup cinnamon Flav-R-Bites
- 1 teaspoon Princess cake and cookie flavoring (vanilla will work nicely, too, but I love this stuff)
- 1/8 – scant 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon oil (optional) (this stuff is very strong, so use it sparingly – 1/8 teaspoon will give a subtle boost to the cinnamon chips, and a 1/4 teaspoon will permeate the shortbread with big cinnamon flavor; any more than that will make it taste like an Atomic Fireball)
Butter an 8”x8” square tart pan or baking dish. Mix the flour, salt and flav-r-bites together in a bowl. Cream the butter and sugars together until they are fluffy and light in color (I used a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, as recommended in the original recipe, but a handheld mixer would work, too). Add the flour mixture and flavor extracts to butter mixture and combine just until the dough comes together and everything is incorporated. Avoid overmixing. Press dough into prepared pan or dish and score into squares or rectangles with a butter knife. Put the shortbread in the fridge to chill for an hour, then bake at 300F for an hour, until golden. Run a knife along the score lines after removing the shortbread from the oven. Eat it while it’s warm, if you’d like, or remove from pan and allow to cool on a rack – if you have more willpower than anyone in our house does!‘Til tomorrow!