Sunday, 2 December 2012

Christmas Shortbread Squares

The calendar has turned to December and I have started my Christmas baking. I always start with shortbread and then progress to the other items that I prefer to refrigerate rather then freeze. I find so often that you need the items well before actual Christmas day if you want to take them to various events. Every year I swear I will start earlier but it never seems to pan out that way. Regardless, this is one part of Christmas preparations that I particularly enjoy even when I'm pressed for time.

I won't lie, these squares can be a little tricky. They have to be watched carefully in the oven to avoid over-browning and they are very sensitive when you are cutting them. The bottom can get a little crumbly and separate from the topping. I'm going to try a little less flour in the base, next time I make them but these ones turned out pretty well.

It starts with a shortbread base (can't go wrong with that)...

Then you add a topping off sweetened condensed milk, raisins,coconut and cherries (I usually put nuts in everything so this is a nice change)...
Don't they look festive? I didn't have green cherries but I think they look good anyway.
 Happy Christmas baking!

Christmas Shortbread Squares
Base: 1 cup butter
1/4 cup white sugar
2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup raisins
2/3 cup coconut
2/3 cup red and green maraschino cherries, chopped fine
1 can Eagle Brand condensed milk

Pre-heat oven to 350F. Grease a 9 x9 baking pan
Cream butter and sugar together. Blend in flour, pat dough into pan and pierce with a fork every half inch. Bake 30 minutes.
Combine remaining ingredients. Spread evenly on shortbread. Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan, Cut into squares. Sprinkle with icing sugar if desired.