Saturday, August 21, 2010

Cookie #61 - South Carolina Puffed Rice Shortbread with Peach Filling

While vacationing in South Carolina, I had some of the best peaches I've ever tasted. 
I've always associated peaches with Georgia, but the peach is also
the state fruit of South Carolina
Rice is also one of the major agricultural outputs of the state. 
When I first set out to make this cookie, I intended on just making a shortbread
Then I got the idea to integrate peaches in the filling. 
I pressed the shortbread rather thin, making a crispy wafer, and added some peach preserves in between.
My husband loved them, declaring them one of the "top five" cookies I've made. 
The puffed rice in the cookie adds to the crispness of the wafer and the peach preserves bring the necessary sweetness to the party. 

South Carolina Puffed Rice Shortbread Cookies with Peach Filling

1 cup butter
2/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 cup puffed rice cereal
Peach preserves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla.  Stir in flour until just combined.  Stir in rice cereal.  Don't worry about crushing the cereal too much. 
Roll heaping teaspoons of dough into balls and place 2" apart on a parchment lined cookie sheet.
Press each cookie flat using either the bottom of a glass or the heal of your hand.*
Bake for 9 minutes.  Don't over bake. 
Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Once cool, top half of the cookies with about a teaspoon of peach preserves (or less if your cookies are small).  Top with remaining cookies. 

*This dough is thick enough if you want to roll it out and cut with cookie cutters.  Just don't work the dough too much or you risk it getting tough.

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