Holiday Season Shortbread Treats

For the holiday season, why not indulge yourself and your party guests with shortbread! This year Gay Lea Butter, the shortbread experts, created a number of tasty new shortbread treats – here a couple of their recipes.

Chocolate Candy Cane Cheesecake
Perfect for a holiday dinner, this luxurious dessert is made with a shortbread base, luxurious mint cheesecake filling and topped with melt-in-your-mouth chocolate and crumbled candy canes. Pairing chocolate and mint, a timeless duo, will make this delectable dessert a new holiday favourite.

3/4 cup softened Bay Lea Unsalted Butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 tsp salt
1 Pkg plain brick-style cream cheese softened
1 cup Gay Lea Gold 18% Sour Cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
2 Natureegg Omega 3 Eggs
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp corn syrup
2 tbsp Gay Lea Unsalted Butter
Crushed Candy canes (optional)

Base: Preheat oven to 325F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan lightly. Beat butter with sugar until fluffy. Stir flour with cocoa and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix until dough comes together. Press dough into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 20 minutes.

Filling: Beat cream cheese with sour cream, sugar and extract until very smooth. With mixer on low, mix in eggs, just until combined. Pour over prepared crust. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until just jiggly in centre. Run a knife around the edge cake. Cool to room temperature.

Glaze: In a small bowl set over simmering water, melt chocolate chips with corn syrup and butter until smooth. Spread evenly over cooled cheesecake. Sprinkle with crushed candy canes (if using.) Chill for a least 4 hours before removing ring and slicing into wedges. (Makes 10 servings.)

Asiago and Prosciutto Shortbread Crackers
For a savoury option, these crackers will give your cheese tray a new twist. With a flavour reminiscent of pasta carbonara and a surprising prosciutto-created crunch they can be paired perfectly with smoked gouda, mango chutney and garlic-stuffed olives. Can also be served solo.

3 slices prosciutto
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup coarsely shredded Asiago cheese
1/2 tsp each garlic powder, salt and cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup cold Gay Lea Unsalted Butter, cubed

Base: Preheat oven to 350°F. Place prosciutto on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until browned and crisp. Cool and crumble finely.

Place all ingredients except butter in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add butter and process until dough comes together in a ball. Form into a rectangular log about 3-inches x 1 1/2  inches. Chill for 1 hour or until firm enough to slice.

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