Festive, and easy. Plus, they’re British. Shortbread’s triangular shape looks great on a cookie platter, which is usually dominated by rounds.A really nice thing about shortbread is that you don't have to cream the butter and sugar the way you do for a lot of the best desserts. There's something a whole lot less fussy about it, and then there's the added plus that if you don't own any kind of mixer, you'll save your forearms the arduous task of mixing. This is because in shortbread, you use your fingers to wedge the flour particles into the butter, making for a tender, crumbly cookie.Being a bit plain, these cookies make a great garnish for things, and they also look beautiful in tins, if you're ever in need of gifting some food.
Thanks to my friendship with Pierre Hermé, the fabulous French pastry chef, I fell in love with the flavor of rose in pastry. It was Pierre who began using rose in his desserts about twenty years ago, and now you find it everywhere in France and in everything from granola and yogurt to the fanciest cakes. It’s a haunting flavor and one that blends beautifully with red berries and another red flower, hibiscus. There’s just one caveat: A flavor as strong and aromatic as rose (particularly when it’s an extract) must whisper — never proclaim — its presence. Too much rose is really too much. Actually, too much hibiscus is not a good thing either. Go easy on both flavorings, though, and you’ll have an elegant cookie.The key to the delightfully crumbly texture, the kind you get with Scottish shortbread, is rice flour, which has little gluten and no distinguishable flavor; it’s there just for the sandiness it imparts.I like to press the dough into a round cake pan, then cut the baked cookies into wedges, ice them and sprinkle each shortbread fan with a few grains of rose-colored sanding sugar. It’s a girly look, but it’s so pretty and particularly welcome on a chilly day when you’re yearning for spring.A word on special ingredients: My favorite rose extract is made by Star Kay White. If you can’t find it, you can substitute an equal amount of rose water (Nielsen-Massey sells a lovely one). If you can’t find a pure hibiscus tea (I use one from the Wild Hibiscus Flower Co.), you can use Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger. Finally, the rice flour should be white rice flour, not sweet or sticky rice flour; Bob’s Red Mill sells it. If you’d prefer a recipe that uses only all-purpose flour, see Playing Around.Recipe excerpted from Dorie Greenspan’s newest cookbook Dorie’s Cookies. Click here to purchase your own copy.
This no-bake dessert is simply irresistible. With a beautiful whipped cream filling, the essence of espresso, and delicate shortbread, this tiramisu is an easy way to show mom you love her this Mother’s Day.This recipe is courtesy of Crazy for Crust.
On a recent trip to Scotland, I ate my body weight in shortbread. The Scots are known as the originators of shortbread and I was seeking out any new bits of knowledge that could perfect the Miette version. The perfection of this cookie lies not in a secret ingredient, but in quality ingredients.
This lemon shortbread recipe takes the tart, fresh flavor of lemons and contrasts it beautifully with the richness of butter. In the walnut variation, the nuts add a wonderful earthy taste that we accentuate with sea salt.
It is important to stop mixing just at the point when the dough clumps together. This prevents the cookies from becoming tough. Freezing the dough makes the cookies more crumbly and helps them maintain their shape while baking. Don’t under bake these cookies. They should be golden brown.