It’s a good thing that I love sparrows–they are by far the most common bird in our garden, and they pose most obligingly. Most birds flit about, daring me to catch them if I can, and usually I can’t!
With little brown birds on my mind, I had the idea to bake some little brown bird shortbread cookies, and here is a basket of them coming your way. They are topped with cinnamon sugar for extra sparkle.
Little Brown Bird Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups flour
for topping: mix 1/4 cup sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the butter with the brown sugar thoroughly. Then add in the 2 cups of flour–it’s easiest to do this with your impeccably clean hands. Knead briefly into a ball. Cut in half, and roll out one half at a time.
Roll out the dough to about 1/8″ thickness, sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture, and cut out with a cookie cutter. Place on lined baking sheet, and bake for about 20 minutes. The bottoms should be golden brown. Leave the hot cookies on the cookie sheet for a few minutes to firm up before transferring to a cooling rack: they are tender and may break if too warm.
Baking notes: It took me several twists and turns before I came up with this recipe. Most recipes for brown sugar shortbread call for 2-1/2 cups flour. This results in a crumbly dough that is difficult to roll out, and, worse, the cookies are okay, but nothing to write home about. So I tried again, this time using only two cups flour. Worked perfectly! The dough is easy to roll out, and the cookies melt in your mouth. Of course this recipe could be used to make twinkly stars or high-stepping reindeer or . . . ? I re-rolled the scraps once, and the cookies were still tender.
Speaking of sparrows, here is a little guy who was perched in the forsythia bush just yesterday.
And lastly, a squirrel has finally figured out how to get to the suet feeder. Not sure how he did this! Peace to you. Fran