It never takes long to run out of homemade cookies.  I have to admit to a prior habit of mine–two cookies with my coffee in the morning.  Sometimes it counted as breakfast, sometimes it didn’t.
Along came an extra 10 pounds–not of cookies–of me.  Honestly, I eat a pretty healthy diet, low in fat, small portions, lots of vegetables and small amounts of meat.  I really had a hard time giving up the cookies.  It was a habit of at least 20 years duration.  I know I’ve mentioned the Flat Belly Diet a few times, it really is effective and of course–no cookies.


Loving to bake as I do, I was challenged.  Never-the-less, I found that my husband, who is physically more active than I am with the heavy lifting I request of him, can still eat them for breakfast.  After losing the 10 pounds on the Flat Belly Diet, I am now able to join him for an occasional mid-morning espresso and cookie.  Sadly, I no longer start my day with that injection of sugar.


A couple of summers ago we were in Nova Scotia and visited several charming towns.  In Mahone Bay, a town of three church steeples, we came across the Birdsall-Worthington Pottery  Studio.  Plenty of dishes and pottery jewelry.  However, being the practical person that I am, I wanted something useful.  And there it was, or rather there they were:  Cookie Stamps.

Three Churches Balsam Fir Father Christmas Holly
Maple Leaf May Flower Tyrannosaurus Rex Sea Shell
Thistle Yin & Yang Lunenburg County Heart Snow Flake

Living in the Hammock, only a couple of blocks from the beach, of course I purchased the Sea Shell stamp.  The following recipe was included in the box at time of purchase.


Three Churches Cookie Stamp

Three Churches Shortbread Cookies
The special edition cookie stamp was created to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the founding of Mahone Bay.• PREHEAT OVEN TO 325 F
1 cup butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup corn starch
1 tsp. pure lemon extract
1 tsp. pure almond extract
Baking Instructions

Knead dough on flat surface until all cracks have disappeared. Roll into 1 1/2″ balls and place 2″ apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Dust cookie stamp in a saucer of flour, then press the cookie ball, leaving a clear impression. Repeat until dough is used up, remembering to flour the stamp each time. Bake at 325 F for 20-25 min.  Makes approximately 2 dozen.
 I  followed this recipe with some success.  The texture was fluffy, but so were my sea shells.  I just couldn’t seem to get the impression to hold up in baking.
This year, for Christmas I received, among many interesting and clever gifts from one of my sisters, a larger cookie stamp.  It sat in the drawer until today, when at a loss for what cookie to make, I remembered that I had never tried it out.  Because it was so much larger, I looked online for another recipe and came across a source for you to buy your own stamps as well as recipes that included some tips that sounded like they might do the trick for holding the shape of the stamp.
I made two batches, one with the Nova Scotia recipe flavored with almond although I substituted in bread flour and one with the Cookie Stamp recipe flavored with vanilla.  It has 4 ingredients-five if you count the flavoring.  The most important difference is that it recommends using Bread Flour instead of all purpose flour.  The bread flour has more gluten and helps to hold the shapes.  The temperature is also higher at 350 degrees for less time and there is salt in the recipe and no corn starch.  I baked both batches at 350 degrees F.
The verdict?  I think we may have like the Cookie Stamp recipe better on the day the cookies were baked.  They tasted and felt like a super buttery shortbread, quite yummy.   However, on succeeding days, the Nova Scotia cookie held up with a lighter texture.
Here is my version of the Cookie Stamp cookie.  The size of the ball you make for each depends on the size of your stamp.  FYI–The large stamp took quite a bit of weight behind it to press it flat. Cookie Recipe  (you can halve this recipe)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
1 pound (4 sticks) salted or unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 Cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt

Do you approve?





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