Finally, I share my shortbread for all the world to see. You can just add this to the list of things I have failed or fallen short at recently. It belongs right there next to purchasing pants that actually fit my growing 5-year-old and scrubbing my floor. You see, I made and photographed this shortbread late one night before I left for San Francisco. I brought the pictures with me. I even brought the cookies with me. Yet, despite my good intentions, technology interfered. Not only did it take forEVER on the hotel’s wireless internet to upload pictures, but Tuesday night, as I was finally finishing up some things before Ole returned from his conference, the screen on my laptop faded and went blue. And then there was nothing.
Luckily, it came back, but not until after I had a little panic attack about all the what-ifs of the situation and a trip down to the hotel’s business center to hook it up to a monitor to see if the guts were still working. Backing up in progress. New laptop that was supposed to come in April is being considered for the very near future. Also being considered for the very near future? More variations on this shortbread recipe. I had so much fun thinking of something I’d want to do for the shortbread challenge offered up by Jaime at Sophistimom and Challenge Dairy that I’m inspired to do it all over again…even if I fall short of getting it up and posted by the 18th. (Disclaimer: I apologize for the poor picture quality and the lack of natural light. Tungsten was shining from the ceiling at a very, very late hour for this.)
The basics of shortbread are simple: butter, sugar, flour and a bit of salt. They are perfect alone, but the possibilities are endless. Step 1: cream the butta.
Then add the sugar and salt and cream again. Here is where it gets interesting.
Enter the candied ginger. I love the complexity of candied ginger. Spicy and sweet, yet soothing. I diced these up into teeny, tiny pieces.
And to play with the ginger came a bit of orange zest and orange extract. Have you heard the story of the Christmas Orange?
And stir those right into the creamed mix.
Finally, a bit of flour to hold it all together.
Next, shape your dough into a log-like existence. It could be round, square, whatever your fancy. I went for “lumpy rectangle.” My New Year’s Resolution is to be less of a perfectionist, and I’m starting early. Lumpy it remained.
Then take your log-like shape and wrap it up in a bit of parchment. This will help keep its shape when we tuck it into the refrigerator for an hour or more.
After it is nice and cold, slice it into 1/4″ or so slices.
Place them on a parchment-lined sheet or a baking mat and bake at 300° F for 20 minutes.
Allow shortbread to cool as you melt a bit of white chocolate.
Dip the cooled shortbread pieces into the chocolate and sprinkle with candied orange peel pieces.
And when the chocolate is set you can package them up to give away, set your kids down in front of as a snack or bring across the street to the neighbors and their very first baby girl. Just make sure you save at least one for yourself. It’s worth it.