Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentine's Day Citrus Shortbread Bites

Valentine's Day...the day of love!

Memories of being a kid and writing out those little Valentine's cards to pass out to everyone at school, run through my head.  Do you remember those?  I wonder if they still sell those cards...

I also love the little candy hearts with the remembrance sayings on them like "Hug Me"  "Be Mine" and "Love".  We would always get a little box of those and love looking at the sayings.  I've also used those recently to sprinkle on our dining table for a cute tablescape for Valentine's dinner.

I think that the colors of valentines are what really attract me. The reds, pinks, and whites for balloons, heart candies...and I can honestly say that a lot of my valentine's dresses over the years have been one or a combination of these colors.

These colors lead me to today's creation.  Dessert is always big on valentine's Day and I wanted to make something with a little cuteness to it.  Something with red, white, and pink sprinkles to remind me of my childhood.  

I've always loved shortbread and saw a post on Pinterest of some shortbread cut into little "bites".  I immediately thought Valentine's Days with pretty colored sprinkles.  Those would be so cute...and they are!

Aren't these just adorable??  I think they are too cute, and because they are so small you won't feel guilty eating 1 or 7!

Oh, and did I mention that these little bites have a hint of citrus?  They do, so they are lightly flavored with orange.  I used an orange extract, however, you can use orange zest and they will come out perfect!  That orange flavor just brightens these up just a bit and make you go Mmmmnn!

They are just perfect to share with the kids, neighbors, co-workers, or your loved ones.  These are wonderful cookies that are easy to make, and everyone is sure to love.  

Enjoy and Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day Citrus Shortbread Bites

makes 110 1/2" cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp orange extract or 1 tsp orange zest
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp valentine sprinkles (red, white, and pink), divided 

Place a sheet of parchment paper in a 8x8 inch square baking dish, allowing the ends to hang over by about 2 inches.  

In a medium bowl using an stand or hand held electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until well blended.  Add orange extract and mix to combine.  Slowly add the flour and mix until combined.  Fold in 1 Tablespoon of sprinkles.  

Dump the dough in the prepared pan and pat out to fill the entire pan.  Using the back of a measuring cup, press the dough so it smooths out the rough top and fills all the corners.  Add the other 1 Tablespoon of sprinkles on the top and press into dough.  Chill dough for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bake 8 - 12 minutes. They are done when they are set but still soft and very lightly browned.  They will harden when they cool.  Cool for 15 minutes in the pan.  Lift dough out of the pan using the overhanging parchment paper.   Using a serrated knife cut into 1/2-inch strips down the length.  Then cut 1/2 inch strips the opposite way to make squares.  

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