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Shortbread and Mincemeat are two British specialties that go wonderfully
together. It wasn't until I saw a Mincemeat Shortbread recipe in Sue
Lawrence's On Baking
cookbook that I thought to combine these two delicacies. The buttery
flavor and crumbly texture of shortbread can easily stand alone, but combining it
with a spicy rich mincemeat makes for a very tasty bar (square). You will
definitely want to add these to your list of Christmas baking.
Mincemeat is a spicy preserve consisting
of a mixture of dried and candied fruits, apples, and spices (with or
without beef suet) that is heavily laced with brandy and/or rum. Originally it was made with meat (hence the name), eggs, dried fruits and
spices. However, over time beef suet (kidney fat) came to replace the meat and
the eggs were dropped completely from the recipe.
While you can use
commercially made mincemeat, I encourage you to try
the recipe on the site for Homemade
Mincemeat. It is vegetarian and easy to make. I think its flavor is superior to a lot of
commercially made brands. The Homemade Mincemeat Recipe makes about 6 cups
(1.4 liters), so you can make these bars and still have some left over to
make other recipes. But if you decide to use store bought mincemeat,
you can improve its flavor by adding a splash of brandy or rum and some freshly
grated apple or a squeeze of lemon juice.
This American Sponge Cake
has a sweet and lemony flavor and while its texture is moist, it is also
wonderfully light and spongy. It does not contain solid fat. This cake
can be eaten plain, or with whipped cream and fresh fruit.
Pumpkin Cheesecake combines two
American favorites; New York style cheesecake and pumpkin pie. It is the
perfect dessert for Thanksgiving. more
These sweet and buttery
cut-out cookies are always a favorite. You can dress them simply with
granulated or colored sugars or make them very decorative with royal icing. more
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