Sunday, 7 November 2010

Shortbread Bliss

Canadians have come to love shortbread as a classic holiday tradition, yet they are always looking for new, delicious and easy recipes for their holiday dessert trays. To provide Canadians with new ideas, Gay Lea Foods, has two new recipes that are sure to add to the joy of the holiday season.

Celebrating both sweet and savoury, we have:
 •    Banana Coconut Cream Shortbread Stack – Bring the retro back to your kitchen with these sensational holiday cookies. Layers of shortbread, filled with blissful custard and bananas, make this a delight your guests will love.
•    Chipotle & White Cheddar Shortbread Cracker– A twist on the classic shortbread cookie, this savoury treat with a spicy kick is something both men and women alike will be excited to prepare and serve. These piquant shortbread crackers are easy to make, slice and bake and are a delicious accompaniment for wine or beer.
Why not give these a try for your next holiday party? Enjoy!

Banana Coconut Cream Shortbread Stacks
Recipe and images provided by


1 cup softened Gay Lea Unsalted Butter   250 mL
2/3 cup Instant Dissolving Sugar   150 mL
1 tbsp vanilla extract  15 mL
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (approx.)  425 mL
1/2 tsp salt  2 mL

1 1/2 cups milk  375 mL
1/4 cup Instant Dissolving Sugar  50 mL
1/4 cup cornstarch  50 mL
1 Egg      
1/2 cup toasted unsweetened coconut 125 mL
1 tbsp Gay Lea Unsalted Butter 15 mL  
1 tbsp dark rum or 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract  15 mL
3 bananas, sliced thinly (approx.)  
Gay Lea Real Whipped Cream                  


Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C). Beat the butter with the sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Beat in the flour and salt until combined. Form the dough into a disk; chill for 45 minutes. Roll out the dough, on a lightly floured surface, about 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick. Use a 2 1/2-inch (6 cm) round cutter to cut out 24 circles (re-roll scraps as needed). Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake, in batches, for 20 minutes or until pale golden. Cool completely on a rack.

Filling: Meanwhile, whisk the milk with the sugar and cornstarch in a large, heavy saucepan; set over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until thickened. Beat a little of the hot milk mixture with the egg. Whisk the warmed egg mixture into the remaining milk mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute or until smooth and thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in the coconut, butter and rum. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly over the surface of the custard; cool completely.

Centre 8 cookies on serving plates; top each with an equal portion of the custard and banana slices. Repeat layers once and top with a final cookie. Just before serving, garnish with whipped cream, toasted coconut and additional banana slices.

Makes 8 servings

Chipotle & White Cheddar Shortbread Crackers
Recipe and images provided by


2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour  675 mL
1/4 cup cornstarch  50 mL
2 tbsp Instant Dissolving Sugar  30 mL   
1 1/2 tsp ground chipotle pepper  7 mL
1 tsp salt  5 mL
1 1/4 cups cold Gay Lea Unsalted Butter, cubed  300 mL
1 cup grated, aged white Cheddar cheese  250 mL   

Pulse the flour with the cornstarch, sugar, chipotle pepper and salt in a food processor. Add the butter and cheese; pulse until the mixture comes together. Divide the dough into two portions and form into a rectangular log, about 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick by 2-inches (5 cm) wide. Chill for at least 1 hour or until firm enough to slice easily. 

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and arrange the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Slice the logs 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheets.

Bake, in batches and rotating the sheets halfway through baking, for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden around the edges. Cool completely on a rack.

Makes about 7 dozen shortbread 'crackers'