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A tangy take on shortbread

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PHOTO COURTESY NEW YORK TIMES

Finely ground freeze-dried fruit gives this shortbread a brilliant color and a tanginess inside and out.

Fruity Meltaways

Ingredients for the cookies:

• 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)

• 1/2 cup powdered sugar

• 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

• 3 tablespoons freeze-dried fruit, such as cherries, blueberries, strawberries, peaches or mangoes,
finely ground

• 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Ingredients for the coating:

• 3/4 cup powdered sugar

• 3 tablespoons freeze-dried fruit, finely ground

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with a stiff spatula, mix butter, powdered sugar, salt, lemon juice and vanilla until creamy and combined. Add ground freeze-dried fruit and mix until distributed. Add flour, and mix until it all comes together into a soft dough.

Divide the dough into two portions. On pieces of parchment paper, wax paper or plastic wrap, roll each portion of dough into a 10-inch-long log. Chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator or up to 3 months tightly wrapped in the freezer.

Set oven racks in the lower and upper thirds of the oven, and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper.

Using a sharp knife, trim about 1/8-inch off each side of the chilled dough logs, just so that you have flat ends. Slice the logs into scant 1/4-inch-thick cookies. Roll the log a quarter turn after each slice to keep it round. (If the dough cracks while slicing, let it warm up at room temperature for 10 minutes.) Arrange on sheet trays 1/2-inch apart and bake, rotating the trays once during baking, until set and barely golden underneath, 10-12 minutes.

While the cookies bake, make the sugar coating: Sift together the powdered sugar with the ground freeze-dried fruit. While still warm, gently toss the cookies in the powdered sugar mixture and return to the sheet tray to fully cool. The cookies will keep for 2 weeks stored at room temperature in an airtight container.

Total time: 30 minutes, plus 2 hours for chilling; makes 60-70 cookies.

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