Memorial Day and the Fourth of July call for festive, patriotic foods that are easy to serve and fun to eat. These little shortbread stars will disappear before your eyes! Lightly flavored with lemon and a dollop of jam, they are refreshing and inviting, and will make a striking display of red, white, and blue on your table.
Red, White and Blueberry Stars (Makes 36)
What you need:
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
Raspberry or cherry jam
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons meringue powder (optional for a firmer icing)
How to make Red, White and Blueberry Stars:
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- In a large bowl (a standing mixer is best) beat the butter, powdered sugar, and lemon juice together until light. Add the egg yolk and mix until combined.
- Add the cornstarch, salt, and 1 cup of the flour. Mix well. (Switch to a dough hook at this time.)
- While mixing, slowly add the remaining flour. This is stiff dough, so if you are mixing by hand you may need to knead the last of the flour into the dough with your hands.
- Place dough on floured surface and knead a few times to make sure it is combined and to coat it lightly with flour.
- Roll out to 1/4-inch thickness.
- Cut out 36 stars with a star-shaped cookie cutter (approximately 2-1/2 inches.) If you need to re-roll the dough, try to use as little flour as possible or roll between sheets of parchment. Place the stars on baking sheets one inch apart.
- Cut out 36 small stars, or if you don’t have a small star cutter, a round shape will be fine. These can be slightly thinner than the large stars. Place one on each large star and press in the middle with your finger. This will make the stars stay together and create a well for jam.
- Drop a small amount of jam on each star. Your cookies will look more attractive if you don’t overfill them.
- Bake 10-11 minutes, just until the cookies are showing a little golden color at the bottom edge. Move to a rack to cool completely.
- In a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and meringue powder. Add small amounts of water until the icing is thin enough to spread, but not liquid. Make sure it’s mixed together well. Put the icing in a plastic zipper bag and cut the tip off. Pipe icing on the big star, right up against the small one. Spread with the tip of the bag or a small knife. Let the icing firm up before serving.