Some of the finest moments of the holiday season originate from the kitchen. Whether it’s a beautifully caramelized ham or perfectly sweet baked good, we all await the appetizing seasonal eats and treats. In the spirit of gorging and food comas, we at Leith Volkswagen of Cary heard about a holiday treat contest winner that we’d like to share with you. It is a raspberry, coconut and walnut shortbread square: it was one of two winners of the News and Observer’s 2013 Holiday Treats competition.
RASPBERRY, COCONUT AND WALNUT SHORTBREAD SQUARES
1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
3 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons almond extract
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1-1/2 cups seedless red raspberry preserves
4 cups (10 ounces) shredded coconut
20 red candied cherries
20 green candied cherries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, then grease a 9X13-inch baking dish with butter. Place this aside.
Stir together flour and salt in a large bowl. Place this aside, too.
Mix together butter, sugars and almond extract in a large mixing bowl with a mixer on medium low speed. Use a large spoon to blend in flour mixture, then stir in the walnuts.
Press dough evenly into the bottom of the baking dish. Bake for 36-38 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove the shortbread from the oven and cool for 15 minutes.
Spread raspberry preserves evenly over the shortbread. Sprinkle coconut on top and press down lightly. Decorate with four rows of evenly-spaced red chairs – five per row. Cut the green cherries into four parts and place around the bottom of the red cherries to create a leaf effect.
If you follow this recipe, you’ll be able to yield about 20 sated holiday stomachs.
Our family at Leith Volkswagen of Cary wants to wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday.
As always, the Leith Cars‘ family encourages you to…
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