Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Mango Ginger Shortbread Squares

My first post-operation foray into kitchen action included a predawn raid on the baking cabinet. After weeks of healthy eating (fruits, vegetables and protein) my sweet tooth kicked in. Lucky for me that my recipe for buttery shortbread squares takes few ingredients, avoids any fancy rolling pin work, and can be made quickly - even by a cook on crutches. 

My previous shortbread squares have relied on citrus zest for a flavor pop, but this time substituting freshly grated ginger made for a pleasant alternative. Dried  mango slices, still pliable and faintly moist, paired well with the ginger, adding a subtle tropical note. The golden raisins just came along for the ride it seems. I might toss in a bit of shredded, sweetened coconut next time for more Island flavor. 

The result? flavorful, buttery, crumbly shortbread squares were a fine batch of celebration cookies for my first kitchen adventure in a month. 

Mango Ginger Shortbread Squares
Recipe adapted from Short & Sweet by Melanie Barnard
Makes 16 cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
½ cup dried mango, diced (I used a mix of mango & golden raisins)
½ cup powdered sugar
1 cup AP flour
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat, or use a glass 8-cup measuring cup and melt the butter in the microwave.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the ginger, dried mango and powdered sugar. Mix well with a wooden spoon.
  3. Stir in the flour and mix until incorporated. The dough will be stiff and crumbly.
  4. Use a spatula or your fingers to spread the dough into an ungreased 8-inch square baking pan; pat it down firmly.
  5. Bake on a middle shelf 20-25 minutes, until golden on top and lightly browned and firm at the edges. Resist the temptation to overbake.
  6. Cool the pan on a baking rack for several minutes and then use a sharp knife to cut the shortbread into 16 equal-sized squares.
  7. Do not remove the squares yet, they will crumble and fall apart. Let them cool in the pan for at least 10 minutes, then use a narrow spatula to remove them carefully.
  8. We tend to devour them immediately, but you can store the squares, tightly covered, for several days. Freeze for up to 1 month.

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