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Spicy Christmas Shortbread

Spicy Christmas Shortbread

Dave and our son were off at work yesterday but I wasn’t alone in the kitchen. Wednesday evening when Lexie, Lanie and Rexie heard that I would be baking cookies, they begged to be taken down off the shelf in my sewing room/office where they live and be allowed to come help.

Well, of course, that meant they had to be properly attired for the occasion, so I was up until late Wednesday night making them each their own Santa hat.

The bobbin is to give you an idea of just how tiny the Santa hats are.

Teeny, Tiny Santa Hats

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The turtles were so excited when they got to try them on Thursday morning!

Turtles trying on their hats

Then we all headed down to the kitchen.

The turtles were fascinated by the tool I use to grate orange peel. The business end does look a little like a flipper.

Grating the orange peel

I explained to them that we always use organic oranges whenever a recipe calls for freshly grated orange peel because oranges are one of the most sprayed crops.

When I started creaming the butter, sugar and orange peel together, they asked to be put up higher so they could see.

Turtles watching the butter and sugar being creamed together

This old cake taker turned upside down did the trick.

We did have one or two minor mishaps with hats falling off.

This old cake taker turned upside did the trick.

It’s a good thing it was the flour it fell into and not the butter mixture.

Tiny Santa hat in the flour

Once the dough was completely mixed together, I weighed on our Cuisinart food scale to make sure the dough would be divided evenly between the 2 pans.Weighing the cookie doughOf course, Lexie, Lanie and Rexie wanted to know how much they weighed too.

We had to check what they weighed in ounces and in grams!

Photo Collage of Turtle Weighing themselves

They tried to help pat the dough into the pans but their little flippers just wouldn’t reach.

The turtles wanted to help pat the dough into the pans

And then Lanie’s hat fell off when I was sprinkling sugar on the dough.

Lanie's Santa Hat fell onto the dough while I was sprinkling on the sugar

I think I’m going to have to add tiny little elastic chin straps so their hats stay on. 🙂

It was hard waiting for the cookies to bake.

Turtles watching the cookies bake

And then there was the five minute wait before I could cut the cookies into wedges with my handy dandy cookie slicer.Turtles waiting for the cookies to coolSpicy Shortbread being cut

It was even harder to wait for the cookies to cool completely in the pan.

Waiting for the cookies to cool completely

Fortunately, turtles are very patient creatures.

Spicy Christmas Shortbread

Hey there’s one missing!

Oh… those little turtles have been taking lessons from Dave!

Turtles eating a cookie

Well they were very good and very patient!

They were so good in fact, that today they’re going to help me decorate gingerbread cookies.

Turtles with a plate of gingerbread cookies.


Spicy Christmas Shortbread

  • 1 c butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 c packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp cloves
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated organic orange peel


Cream together butter, brown sugar and orange peel.

In a separate bowl combine flour, spices and baking soda. Stir to mix thoroughly.

Add the flour to the butter mixture stirring until just blended.

Divide the dough in half and press evenly into two ungreased 9 inch cake pans. Sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake at 325 ºF for 25 to 30 minutes or until just starting to lightly brown around the edges.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Cut into 16 wedges. Cool completely in the pan before removing.

Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks or freeze.

Cup of Tea with a wedge of Spicy Shortbread

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  • Jenny
    December 10, 2015 10:57 am

    Loved the post! We have two stuffed lizards about the same size called Swishy and Swashy. They were in our wedding (with white ribbons on) and went on our honeymoon to Hawaii (they got grass skirts and flower leis). They are currently wearing scarves, though I can’t find the nicer ones from last year. I haven’t made them mittens though. Their heads are shaped wrong for hats, which is too bad, the santa hats are AWESOME! (and the peoples in my family love to wear santa hats, I’m wearing one now.)

  • Mama Bear
    December 7, 2015 2:50 pm

    Yummy! What a fun post.
    Mama Bear

  • Theresa
    December 7, 2015 5:05 am

    Cute post. Never made shortbread. Looks yummy!

  • Shez
    December 6, 2015 7:58 pm

    what a wonderful post and i just love your helpers,lol xx

  • Debbie
    December 6, 2015 12:25 am

    Love the turtle helpers….lol. I will have to make my turtle a Santa Hat…..she will have to visit your gang next time we get together. That shortbread looks awesome……hugs and stitches

  • Karen
    December 5, 2015 8:14 pm

    That was so much fun to read! Looking forward to trying your shortbread wedges! Thanks for making it so much fun!!

  • Colette
    December 5, 2015 8:20 am

    Your helpers were very cute. Be glad they didn’t want a chef hat, matching apron and oven mitt. Your recipe looks very good, and excellent point about using organic when using rind.

  • Linda Loosli
    December 4, 2015 9:56 pm

    Oh my gosh, I want to make this spicy shortbread! Saving this recipe for sure!

  • Mary Anne
    December 4, 2015 8:22 pm

    Oh my goodness – being supervised by wee turtles must be so much fun (falling Santa hats and all). Those cookies look so yummy and I’m sure they smelled divine (which explains the lineup of hungry little turtles!)

  • Carla
    December 4, 2015 5:42 pm

    This shortbread looks so yummy. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Lindsay
    December 4, 2015 6:39 pm

    Oh my goodness, those tiny Santa hats are adorable! And the shortbread sounds delicious! I can’t wait to give it a try!

  • Mary Ann
    December 4, 2015 3:34 pm

    What a delight to read. Made me smile and laugh through it all. Thank you so much for the humor and the delicious looking cookie recipe.

  • Diane Schmutzler
    December 4, 2015 3:27 pm

    I like to try a new recipe each year along with our traditional favorites. This is it! Spicy and simple. I will have to ask the grandkids to help as I don’t have any turtle friends (who could really use a good old-fashioned hat pin). Thanks for such a fun post.

  • sherry
    December 4, 2015 12:41 pm

    Thank you and your team of turtle helpers for sharing great cookie recipes and for hopping along. I have truly enjoyed many smiles this morning reading your antics. Creative Cookie Bliss…

  • Mary
    December 4, 2015 10:52 am

    Those look wonderful. It looks like you had plenty of “slow” help in the kitchen! lol

  • krislovesfabric
    December 4, 2015 8:45 am

    This looks yummy, we really enjoy a spicy gingerbread around here. thanks for the recipe!

  • Velda
    December 4, 2015 8:32 am

    Wow, this was a new cookie for me. Hubby loves gingerbread so we are gonna make these cookies happen at our house.

  • Carol Kussart
    December 4, 2015 8:18 am

    The shortbread looks yummy, and the turtles were a delightful addition to the process! Thanks for sharing!

  • Rachel
    December 4, 2015 6:40 am

    What fun! I’m not sure how helpful your helpers were, but it is always good to have company in the kitchen..

  • Christine B.
    December 4, 2015 6:26 am

    What fun you had making your cookies with all that invaluable help from the turtles! Love their little hats…. I think the elastic may be a good idea! Have a lovely weekend! Christine x

  • Susan
    December 4, 2015 2:44 am

    You are a very funny story teller. I think you need to write a series of children’s books about your turtles’ adventures!

  • Linda
    December 4, 2015 2:11 am

    maybe you had more help from the turtles than if Dave ha helped?
    I’ve never thought of spicy shortbread – looks delicious.

  • Carol
    December 4, 2015 12:56 am

    This looks like a great shortbread recipe and I do love shortbread…without turtle hats in it, of course. LOL Those turtles are hilarious! I like the idea of baking it in one pan and then cutting it in wedges. It looks amazing on the plate! I learned something, too, that oranges are the most sprayed. Interesting! Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe and for hopping along with us.

  • Leslie Sorenson
    December 4, 2015 12:09 am

    I need to take non-chocolate cookies to a luncheon on Monday. These will be perfect. I like this way of baking shortbread…..less crumbly and messy.

  • Mary Pat Callihan
    December 3, 2015 11:11 pm

    Okay Susan, those turtles are so stinkin’ cute, I can’t believe it! I am sure your cookies are going to be great too, but I am in love with your storytelling!

Comments are closed.