Thursday, December 4, 2014

shortbread peppermint pattie cookies

This cookie is undeniably messy.

You'll just have to get over that.

I mean, let's think about shortbread. The best shortbread has so much butter packed in that it's just waiting to scatter all over your best black sweater. But we deal with that because we love that buttery taste.

So you take that buttery, scattery shortbread and you use it as a sandwich to hold a creamy, dense, chocolate-covered peppermint patty. And what do you get?

One of my very favourite Christmas cookies.

Also: a cookie that must be eaten on a plate.

I remember encountering these at my grandma's house when we were visiting for Christmas. I think I looked at it for quite a while, dumbfounded. I mean, this was a brilliant, brilliant idea. How had I never seen it before?

I made it my business to eat as many as I could. I don't know how Grandma came up with it  maybe it was suggested in a magazine or maybe she thought it up herself. I don't think she used a special shortbread recipe, just her regular, no-nonsense shortbread that also got topped with little bits of maraschino cherries in other forms.

Somehow, I forgot about these cookies for almost 20 years, but this year I ate a chocolate-covered peppermint pattie at work last week and suddenly realized it needed a shortbread sandwich around it.

So I went into my gluten-free kitchen and whipped these up. Don't tell  they look so fancy  but they were very quick to make. Now I also know why Grandma, who was a very practical woman, liked making them.

one year ago: annie's sundried tomatoes
two years ago: potato chip cookies and cheese ball
three years ago: roasted tomato soup and asiago lace and dominosteine and christmas treats
four years ago: walnut slugs and spicy cajun almonds

gluten-free shortbread peppermint pattie cookies
inspired by my grandma, elizabeth mitchell
bakes 13  14 sandwich cookies

note 1: Here's the gluten-free shortbread recipe, but if you don't need to be gluten-free, go with your favourite basic shortbread recipe. Make sure you do the sandwiching while the cookies are still warm, so they slightly melt the peppermint pattie and make it stick.

note 2: I'll try to get you weights soon!

1/2 c. cornstarch
1 c. brown rice flour
1/2 tsp. xanthan or guar gum
1/2 c. icing or confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. butter
13  14 small chocolate-covered peppermint patties (I like York)

Prepare a pan with parchment paper or a silicone lining.

Stir the cornstarch, brown rice flour, xanthan gum, icing sugar and salt together to form one flour. Cut the butter into 6 or 8 pieces and drop into the bowl. Blend together until it forms a dough.

Shape into balls that are slightly smaller than 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter. Place on baking sheet at least 1.5 inches apart. Press down with a fork slightly to make a fat pattie. Chill at least 10 minutes.

Bake in 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for about 18  20 minutes, until the edges have just the tiniest hint of colour. Don't overbake.

Leave the cookies on the pan but place the pan on a rack. In about 4  5 minutes, get out a cutting board and carefully put the cookies on it upside-down. (They are in a fragile state right now.) Gently press a peppermint pattie down on one shortbread cookie and gently press another shortbread cookie on top. Place on rack to cool.

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