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Saturday, December 14, 2013


I have been enjoying shortbread lately and was able to find a shorbread pan on Amazon that imprints each cookie with a snowflake design.  Beautiful for the holidays.  But you don't need a fancy pan to make can use an 8 x 8 baking pan.  The following recipe comes from The Brass Sisters-two sisters who hunt for old recipes, test them and combine them into cookbooks.

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
Grated zest of 1 orange
1 teaspoon orange extract or 1/2 teaspoon orange oil
Set oven rack in the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch by 9-inch by 2-inch pan with foil. Grease the foil with butter or coat with vegetable spray.
Add flour and salt to a mixing bowl, whisk to combine, and set aside.
Cream butter (which should not be soft, but should not be ice cold, either) and sugar in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add orange zest. Add orange extract or orange oil and combine. Add dry ingredients, 1/2 cup at a time, beating until completely absorbed and dough comes together. Do not overbeat or shortbread will be tough.
Gently pat dough into prepared pan. (Press down the edges with tines of fork.) Prick top of dough evenly about 20 to 25 times.
Bake shortbread 35 minutes. Cool on rack for about 20-25 minutes, or until slightly warm. Score shortbread with a knife into 1-inch by 2-inch pieces, but do not cut through entirely. When completely cool, cut into pieces along scored lines. The texture should be sandy and crumbly. Store orange shortbread in a covered tin between sheets of wax paper, at room temperature.
Shortbread will firm up as it cools. Placing shortbread in the refrigerator will help it firm up. If the shortbread is pale, continue baking another 5 minutes, watching carefully to be sure it is not browning too quickly.

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