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Although my dessert and sweet recipes are most-often vegan, gluten-free, or at least somewhat healthy, I decided to stray for this “naughty” recipe because, well, Christmas. Making shortbread has always been a Carroll family tradition, with both my Dad and Aunt taking great care to keep my Great Grandmother’s recipe safe, and making it at least once a year for the family to enjoy. While I do love these delicious traditional shortbread cookies, I’ve always been attracted to adding in different ingredients to create a modern twist. In the past I’ve made Lavender Shortbread, Rosemary Shortbread, and this year I decided to try a Ginger Shortbread recipe!

Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa is someone I’ve heard of often from my friends and family members who love to cook, and they all swear by her cookbooks. Intrigued by her latest book called Make It Ahead, I picked up a copy for myself with the hope that it might help make planning and prepping for the many dinner parties I host throughout the year a little bit easier.

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During my planning process for my Christmas menu (this basically involves me going through every cookbook I own to find exactly what I want to make), I came across Ina’s Ginger Shortbread recipe and thought they would be a fun new way to enjoy everyone’s favourite cookie during the holiday season. According to Ina, this recipe was inspired by the shortbread at E.A.T. in New York City, and she added the crystallized ginger to create a “sophisticated cookie that’s both spicy and sweet”.

This year I’m carrying on my new tradition of hosting Caribbean Christmas at #CasaGC for both sides of the family (we’re expecting 20 people this year!) and I thought this cookie perfectly embodied our love for tradition, but with a new kick to it.

See below for how to make Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa’s Ginger Shortbread Recipe!

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Ginger Shortbread Recipe:

(makes 20 to 24 cookies)

What You Need:

3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup minced crystallized ginger (not in syrup)

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What To Do:

- Preheat the over to 350 degrees.

- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and 1 cup of sugar on medium-low speed, just until they are combined. (Don’t whip!) Add the vanilla and 2 teaspoons water and mix until combined.

- In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until the dough starts to come together. Add the ginger, the dump onto a surface generously dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

- Roll the dough 3/4 inch thick and cut circles with a 2 3/4 inch plain round cookie cutter (as you can see I used a heart instead!). Please the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and sprinkle with the sugar. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the edges start to brown.

- Cool to room temperature and serve.

MAKE IT HAEAD: Cut out the cookies, place i sealed containers, and refrigerate for up to a week or freeze for up to 3 months. Bake before serving.

Hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas!



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