These buttery lily pads are a twist on the traditional holiday favourite. They capture the lighthearted flavour of summer at the lake – especially when a gummi frog is perched nearby. The shortbread lily pads recipe makes about three dozen.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (625 ml)
1 cup icing sugar, sifted (see Tip, below) (250 ml)
1/2 cup cornstarch (125 ml)
1 1/2 cups butter, softened (375 ml)
green food colouring
Fast: gummi frogs, tube of storebought white decorating icing (optional)
Fancy: gumdrops, tube of storebought white decorating icing, and small round candies
1. In a large bowl, combine flour, icing sugar, and cornstarch.
2. Blend in butter with a wooden spoon, then work dough with hands until smooth. Divide dough in half. Colour half the dough a light green with a few drops of food colouring, kneading to distribute evenly. Cover bowls or wrap dough and chill 1 hour for easy rolling.
3. On a sheet of waxed paper, roll the green dough with a floured rolling pin into an 11″ x 8″ (27 cm x 20 cm) rectangle. Repeat with the plain dough on another sheet of waxed paper.
4. Flip the plain dough over top of the green dough. Remove paper from top and press the dough firmly together with your hands to seal the two layers. Starting at the long edge, roll the dough up tightly, jelly-roll fashion. Wrap in plastic or waxed paper and chill a couple of hours until firm.
5. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
6. Slice roll into 1/4″ (6 mm) slices. Place on ungreased baking sheets about 1″ (2.5 cm) apart.
7. Bake in centre of a preheated oven for 12–15 minutes, or until edges are just starting to turn a light golden. Cool 10 minutes on baking sheets, then remove and cool completely on racks.
8. Decorate the cookies: Fast: Leave the pinwheels plain and include some gummi frogs (sold in bulk-food stores) on the plate or in the box (if you’re giving the cookies as a gift). Or attach a frog to the top of each lily pad with a dab of decorating icing.
Fancy: Add a gumdrop flower to the lily pad: Slice a small gumdrop horizontally into rounds and cut the rounds in half to form petals. Pinch the petals into a flower shape – they’re sticky enough to hold together – and attach to the top of the cookie with a dab of decorating icing.
Put a dab of icing in the centre of the flower and top with a small round candy.
Measure the icing sugar first, then sift. If you don’t have a sifter, put the icing sugar through a fine sieve.
Looking for other baking recipes? Why not try the cottage mice cookie recipe?