One of the many great things about having nieces and nephews is the resurrection of nursery rhymes and lullabies in your life. My mom sang several of them to us growing up and I can remember loving them thoroughly. As you grow older, you forget all of those clever rhymes and peaceful lullabies and live your life every day without them. When my older brother and sister started having kids of their own I got the pleasure of hearing my mom sing the songs of my childhood to her new grandchildren. And the memories flooded back to me like they had never left. I have several favorites and even a select few that I have reserved as the number one choice when it is my turn to sing to the little ones. But my all time favorite to hear my mom sing to her grandkids is Short'nin Bread. I know there are a ton of lyrics, but she sticks to the chorus:
- Mammy's little baby loves short'nin', short'nin',
- Mammy's little baby loves short'nin' bread
Adapted from Ina Garten
- 3/4 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until they are just combined. Add the vanilla. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt,
then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture.
Mix on low speed until the dough starts to come together. (Once the dough is ready to come out of the mixer it is very crumbly. Just drop it onto a floured surface and knead it about 2 times and it will form together in one combined mixture.) Dump onto a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk.
Wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick using your new Martha Stewart rolling pin bands that ensure a perfectly even dough (see blue bands - love them!)
and cut with your new shortbread cookie cutter/stamp from Sur La Table
(or any other shaped cookie cutter).
Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet lined with parchment paper
Serve to delighted guests.