baking from scratch, butter cookies, comfort food, cookies, friends, hand pies, housewife, mini pies, mother of boys, personal gaffes, the boy who ate his weight in blueberries, what to do with fresh blueberries
Have you ever had one of those weeks where all of your best laid plans go decidedly AWOL, so all you can manage is a white-knuckle-hang-on-for-dear-life kind of grip and hope for the best? All the while, laughing hysterically because it is all just so funny?
Yeah…that was my last week.
Thankfully, Crepe Week was a rousing success! The girls and I had a blast showcasing our new favorite crepe recipes, with a little help from a fabulous America’s Test Kitchen basic crepe recipe. Those folks at ATK know what goes where and why in the culinary world. I can’t help but admire that quality. Tomorrow we’ll recap on all the fun food and Giveaways, including who won my favorite baking cookbook ever, Baking Illustrated!
But first, I have something very important to discuss.
In the midst of the chaos that was last week, I managed to make some cute little
pies cookies pies. My BFF Jenny and I took our crew blueberry picking last week. You haven’t lived until you’ve herded five boys in a blueberry patch. Imagine five excited, blueberry-lovin’ boys running through rows and rows of ripe blueberries with buckets in their hands. So fun!
Go ahead and put that on your Bucket List.
Since I gush about Sons 1-4 all the time, I’m going to love-on Jenny’s boy for a few minutes. Cute does not even begin to describe this little man. He’s adorbalicious!
Jenny showed her sweet Little Muffin how to pick the blueberries and put them in his bucket.
Obviously, Little Muffin caught on quickly to the process. He also quickly realized that his bucket made an excellent serving dish. He was eating the berries almost as fast as my boys were filling his bucket with fruit.
inhaling munching half a bucket of blueberries, Little Muffin found it too much effort to continue eating while standing up. He’s very serious about his blueberries.
Little Muffin is so sweet and squishy that I can’t help but hug him, and squeeze him, and hand over my checkbook. Sometimes I may even contemplate taking him home with me–but right about then one of my boys
yells for politely requests my attention, and I remember that I have four sweet little men of my very own at home. Then I give Little Muffin back to Jenny.
I was famished after all that
boy wrangling baby squeezing blueberry picking, so naturally I had to bake something–it’s what I do. Since I was planning to make my favorite shortbread cookies to go with dinner for my friends that just had a baby, I decided to combine the cookies & the berries into these cute little pies.
I’m not gonna lie–these Blueberry Shortbread Pies are fabulous! I took fantastic step-by-step photos to coincide with the recipe, too. Dare I say that they’re the best photos that I’ve ever taken for the blog? Sure…I’ll go there…I rocked the photos.
I can only say that because when I went to copy the photos from my camera to the recipe folder on my laptop, I kinda sorta deleted the shots before I copied them.
Yeah. That was awesome.
For the record…in my mind? The AWOL shots will always be my best ever.
While lamenting to the Twitterverse about my latest bone-head maneuver, the ever resourceful Kat of TenaciouslyYours fame suggested that I recreate the entire process with paint as a medium. Leave it to a fellow blogger to realize the magnitude of the situation and offer a viable solution.
Except for the part that the Master Painter gene skipped right over my gene pool.
Blueberry Shortbread Pies
Yield: 18 Cookie Pies
Prep Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes (35 minutes inactive,) Cook Time: 14 minutes, Total Time: 1 hour, 29 minutes
¾ C. (12 Tbs.) unsalted butter, softened
½ C. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/8 tsp. salt
1 ½ C. plus 2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 pint fresh blueberries
4 ½ tsp. additional granulated sugar, divided
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Put the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl, and combine it on medium low speed, until it looks creamy, and has lightened a bit in color. Then add the vanilla extract, and stir to fully incorporate. Add stir salt into the flour. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in 2-3 batches, stirring in between. Stir until well combined, and dough starts to come together.
Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on to a clean, flat surface. Turn the dough out onto the plastic wrap. Form the dough into a ball, and then flatten it into a ½-inch high rectangle. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap. Pop the dough into the fridge for 20 minutes.
Very lightly spray the bottom of 18 wells of a muffin pan(s) with baking spray; set aside.
Unwrap the chilled dough, and roll it out evenly on a floured surface until it’s about 1/4 inch thick. Use a 3-inch round cookie or biscuit cutter to cut 18 circles of dough, re-rolling the dough as necessary. (If you don’t have a 3” round cutter the edge of a large drinking glass will do.)
Place the circles in the center of the prepared muffin tin wells. Gently press the centers down to form a crust. Do not press the dough roughly, for it should barely change shape at all. Refrigerate the dough in the pans for 15 minutes.
Remove the pans from the refrigerator, and place a single layer of blueberries into each dough “crust.” I usually fit about 6-8 blueberries in each, depending on the size of the berries. Sprinkle 1/8 tsp. of granulated sugar over the berries.
Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes, or until the edges are very lightly browned.
Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes in the muffin pans. Then gently run a thin paring knife around the edges of the pies to loosen and pop them out of the wells of the pans. Allow pies to cool completely on a cooling rack before serving. Leftover pies may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 days.
Variations: Fresh raspberries, blackberries, diced fresh peaches (or a combination) can be substituted for the blueberries.