Michael Lee West: Teeny Templeton’s Kitchen Diary

5 06 2011

So, Southern readers, we’ve made it through our first week of summer. And from what I hear over here in mild Cali, it’s gonna be a doozy. Hope you’ve got lots of summer books to keep you company, friends and family coming over to keep you having fun, great food to eat, and of course, a large glass of Sweet Iced Tea to drink out on the porch!

In case you need more inspiration, we’ll let our new friend Michael Lee West, er uh, Teeny Templeton (if you don’t know how she is, well then, you’re just gonna have to read Gone With a Handsomer Man, as we suggested!) give us a few recipes from her cookbook. Food plays a large part in Teeny’s life, as it does in any Southerner’s. I can’t wait to try out several of these recipes included in her Kitchen Diary, perhaps on this lazy Sunday afternoon. On my list is the Teeny Spring Salad, Bacon-Chive Cornbread, Carolina Seared Scallops, and Almond Basil Shortbread.

Simply check out this link for more of Teeny’s recipes. We can’t wait for the sequel, but in the meantime, happy eating!

Teeny’s Recipe for Almond Basil Shortbread


2 sticks unsalted butter

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (heaping) ground almonds

2 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 teaspoon lemon zest

Place room temperature butter into mixing bowl. Beat until smooth. Add almond extract and confectioners’ sugar. Beat until fluffy. In small increments, add flour and salt to whipped butter mixture (about 6 times). Mix. Stir in ground almonds and mix dough slowly. Add basil and zest. Stir to incorporate.

Spray sheets of cling wrap with cooking spray. Place dough on sheets and chill for about an hour. Spread flour onto a cutting board or waxed paper. Roll dough onto paper. Use cookie cutter to cut dough into shapes, or slice into even bars. (You can gather the scraps, knead and roll onto board to cut more cookies. You might wish to spray your rolling pin with more cooking spray.) Place parchment paper in the bottom of cookie pans. Place uncooked cookies on pan and let chill at least 15 minutes. (Be careful of the fragile dough sticking.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake until brown about 10-15 minutes.




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