The origins of Valentine’s Day are quite widespread and fairly muddled, though, anyone interested in history knows it wasn’t always centered around Dove chocolate hearts and bouquets given to women because of some kind of societal obligation.
“From Feb. 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain. The Roman romantics ‘were drunk. They were naked,’ says Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Young women would actually line up for the men to hit them, Lenski says. They believed this would make them fertile. The brutal fete included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be, um, coupled up for the duration of the festival — or longer, if the match was right.” [npr.org]
Well, with that being said, let’s make some cookies!
I love shortbread, being a person that loves savory over sweet. The buttery crumb of a good piece of shortbread will win me over compared to any other cookie out there.
It’s a perfect base for any kind of chocolate or sugary coating.
My inner child was getting a bit overzealous. Well, I am the daughter of an artist…
(Makes 1 dozen cookies)
– 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus 1/2 tablespoon to butter baking pan
– 1 cup all-purpose flour
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 cup sugar
Before We Get Started…
– Growing up, I habitually pressed my shortbread into the shape of a circle, then cut it into triangles. Habitually, this is what I still do when making shortbread! However, dough can be pressed into whichever shape you prefer. Also note that the dough does not have to take up the entire area of the baking pan; mine is usually a 8″ circle of dough placed on a 13″ x 9″ baking pan.
1.) Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter a 13″ x 9″ baking pan and set aside.
2.) In a medium bowl, cream butter with an electric mixer, on medium speed, for approximately two to three minutes or until butter is fluffy and lightened in color. Add sugar and beat for an additional two minutes.
3.) Combine flour and salt; sift the two together, if possible. Add flour mixture to the butter and sugar, beating on low for one to two minutes or until mixture begins to stick together and resemble pebbles. Remove mixer and use hands to combine the dough into a firm ball.
4.) Press dough onto buttered baking pan, making sure the thickness is uniformly 1/4″.
5.) Bake for approximately 20 – 25 minutes or until edges start to turn a light brown. Remove from oven and place baking sheet on a cooling rack. Once the shortbread has cooled, cut into smaller pieces.
6.) If decorating with glaze, combine 1 cup confectioners’ sugar with approximately 2 tablespoons of water or milk. Add food coloring, if desired. Drizzle or dip cookies into glaze. Place cookies on cooling rack and allow to fully dry.