8/15/08

Orange Shortbread Cookies

As a child I always liked the 'plain' cookies. My favorite in the world were only in my life briefly; about as long as the bakery in our little town lasted before going out of business. To this day I think about those cookies and have never, in 25 years been able to replicate them. I do actually have an idea up my sleeve about them but it involves an ingredient I have to order online and I've never 'gotten around to it'... maybe some day.

But the point is... (and I do have one!) that shortbread is another favorite of mine. I have to be careful though that I don't bake it too long because the second it gets a golden brown tinge to the edges, it's 'overcooked' in my opinion and I can taste the 'toffee' flavor as the butter and sugar caramelized.

Now, what if you take the perfect little recipe for shortbread and added some lemon or orange zest? I think you get a yummy little summer cookie.

Orange Shortbread Cookies

3/4 c flour
3 T cornstarch
1/4 c + 2 T sugar
Grated zest of 1 orange
1/4 t salt
7 T unsalted butter, chopped

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Grease an 8x8 sq. pan. In a medium bowl, sift flour and cornstarch. Add the 1/4 cup sugar, orange zest and salt. Using your fingertips, work the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Knead the mixture until it forms a dough, then press it into the prepared pan. Score the dough into 24 narrow rectangles and prick with the tines of a fork. Sprinkle with the 2 tbsp. sugar.

Bake for 30 min.or until a pale golden color. Remove from oven and let cool in pan until it holds its shape enough to turn out on a rack. When completely cooled, cut the shortbread into fingers along the scored lines. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container 1 week, or frozen.

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