Pecan Toffee Shortbread Stars
1-1/2 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 C cornstarch
1/4 t salt
1-1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/4 C sugar
1/4 C light brown sugar, packed
2 t vanilla extract
1/2 C mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 C pecans, finely chopped
1/2 C toffee bits, (without chocolate)
Powdered sugar, for sprinkling
1. In a bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch and salt together. Set aside. Using an electric mixer on medium high, beat butter, sugars, and vanilla for one minute or until smooth and creamy. Reduce speed; add flour mixture, chocolate, pecans, and toffee bits; mix for about 1 minute, or until dough forms. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.
2. Adjust oven racks to the lower-middle and upper-middle positions. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
3. Roll out dough into an 11-inch circle, about 1/4-inch thick. Using a 3-inch star shaped cookie cutter, cut out cookies, re-rolling scrap piece as you work. Arrange cookies 1-inch apart on prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Switch positions and rotate the cookie sheets half way through the baking process to promote even baking.
4. Let cool 10 minutes on baking sheets, offset to a wire rack and cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Did the Star of Bethlehem really exist?
"‘Tis the season… And every year around this time people notice the brilliant ‘star’ to the west just after sunset. For astronomers, we know it’s the appearance of the planet Venus, but noticing it for the average person brings on questions about the holidays. Was the Christmas Star real?
Regardless of your faith, the story of the ‘Star of Bethlehem’ is one of the most powerful and enigmatic symbols of Christianity. For centuries, scientists, scholars and historians have debated about the nature of this biblical light that heralded an event. Was it purely a divine sign, created miraculously to mark a special birth? Or was it an astronomical event in its own right?"
To read the latest research, click on the link below: