comment 1

Tea and Cookies

A rainy, spring day is perfect for a hot “cuppa” tea and cookies. These shortbread make the perfect pair, rich and tender dough with citrus notes or bitter chocolate and hazelnuts.

Spring time means sunny days mixed between rainy showers. On cooler mornings, it’s nice to curl cup with a good book, a hot cup of Earl Grey, and nibble on a few shortbread cookies. These tender sweets have a delicate, melt in your mouth texture made from a base of butter and sugar that you can transform with the addition of any flavor. Citrus zest brightens the cookies, while cocoa powder, chocolate and hazelnuts add a hearty richness. The dough freezes wonderfully, so make a double batch and you’ll have enough to enjoy on warm, summer days as well!

Chocolate hazelnut shortbread, makes 3 dozen
1 cup + 2 tbsp cake flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup toasted and finely chopped hazelnuts
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, cut in 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
10 oz semisweet chocolate

1. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cream together on medium speed for five minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy, scraping down occasionally. Add in the vanilla extract, and mix to combine.

2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and cocoa powder. Add 1/2 of the dry mixture to the butter mixture, and combine slowly on speed one. Add the second 1/2 of dry ingredients to the butter and mix slowly, scraping down to combine completely. Continue to mix one minute more to completely combine.  Add the salt and the nuts, mix into batter.

3. Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap or parchment and roll into a 1-inch log. Place in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes, or until the dough is firm.

4. Set the oven to 315 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut 1/4-inch slices. Place on the sheet tray.

5. Bake cookies for 15 minutes,  turning once. Remove sheet from tray and allow to cool completely. Finish cookies by dipping in chocolate.

6. To temper chocolate: Melt all but 1 tbsp of the chocolate completely in a medium sized bowl, either over a double boiler, or in a microwave(being careful not to burn the chocolate). Stir in the last tbsp of chocolate into the melted chocolate. Cool chocolate to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a sheet tray with a silpat or parchment paper. Dip completely cooled cookies half-way into the chocolate, shake to remove excess chocolate, and place on lined sheet tray. When all cookies are dipped, place tray into the refrigerator to allow chocolate to cool completely. Serve cookies at room temperature. Store in an air tight container.

Citrus Shortbread, makes one dozen
6 oz butter, room temperature, cut into 1-inch cubes
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 orange
1 lemon

2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups cake flour
1-3 cup confectioners sugar, for icing

1. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Zest the lemon and orange into the bowl. Cream the mixture together on medium speed for five minutes until smooth, scraping down occasionally.

2. Mix the yolks and the vanilla together. Add to the butter mixture and mix on slow speed until smooth, scraping down if necessary.

3. Add half of the cake flour to the butter and mix together on slow speed, scraping down if necessary. Add the rest of the flour and mix until just completely combined. Place the dough on a piece of plastic wrap or parchment and roll into a 1-inch log. Place in the refrigerator for at least thirty minutes, or until the dough is firm.

4. Set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut 1/4-inch slices. Place on the sheet tray.

5. Bake cookies for 18 minutes, turning once. Remove sheet from tray and allow to cool completely. Finish cookies by dipping in icing.

6. To make icing, place the juice from the orange in a small bowl. Add enough confectioners sugar to make a thick icing. Line a sheet tray with a silpat or parchment paper. Dip cooled cookies in icing, shake to remove excess, and place on tray. Or, place icing in a piping bag and pipe a zig-zag line across cookies. Allow icing to set and serve at room temperature. Store in an air tight container.

1 Comment so far

Leave a Reply