Sunday, December 6, 2009
Brunch and Cookies (shortbread with cranberries and pumpkin seeds)
We have a lot of wonderful food bloggers here in Utah. I have connected with a fantastic group and had the opportunity to dine with some of them yesterday. Holly (PheMomenon) arranged a holiday cookie swap and had an idea to make it a brunch date at The Wild Grape Bistro, which Maria (TwoPeasandPod) arranged. What a treat! I got to meet 3 new friends; Kalyn (Kalynskitchen), Dara (CookinCanuck) and Chris (Melecotte) as well as catch up with my dear friends Cristie (TheTableRunner), her sweet daughter Candace (ALittleblog), Barbara (BarbaraBakes) and Becky (VintageMixer). You can not go wrong with a group like this. We all cook, we all know how to eat and we all brought cookies! Let's not leave out fun conversation either. I have to hand it to The Wild Grape Bistro as well. They had us all set up at a nice table, had a very capable server handle our group, served us delicious food, treated us to a treat and allowed us to climb and crawl all over the restaurant to take photos of the cookies and food! This is the second time our group has met there and we are all very impressed. Let's get on with it, shall we? The food:
Drooling yet? From the top: "The Grape" Salad, Fruit and Yogurt Plate, Brioche French Toast, Blue Corn Waffle, The Grape's "Benedict". All gorgeous and all delicious! Onto the cookies:
Once more, from the top (I linked to each blogger above so I will just mention names now... be sure to check out these amazing blogs!) I want to allow them to post their own versions of our day so in order of cookie appearance: Dara, Cristie, Candace, Maria, Becky, Chris, Barbara and Holly. Kalyn opted to not bring cookies as she is on a restricted diet and mine are to follow...
Shortbread with cranberries and pumpkin seeds
2 1/3C flour
1C unsalted butter (room temp)
3/4C dried cranberries
3/4C pumpkin seeds
Cream butter until very smooth (2 minutes), add sugar and beat until very creamy, then add vanilla. In a separate bowl combine flour and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and combine well. Add cranberries and pumpkin seeds and combine. Halve the dough and form 2 logs (on sheets of plastic wrap). I like to make mine square but have made round as well as rectangle logs before. Wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 325 and unwrap one log at a time. Slice each log into medium thin slices and place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes and cool on a wire rack.
These cookies are festive with the red and green colors as well as being crisp and buttery... just as shortbread should be!
Yesterday was a great afternoon with talented and interesting foodie friends. Check out The Hive for a complete rundown soon! Happy Holidays!