Thursday, February 09, 2012

Bergamot-Lavender Shortbread

I've always thought that bergamot and lavender are pretty good friends. Every time I see them hanging out together, something good comes of it. So of course, now that I've got bergamot to play with, I wanted to get those buddies together and give them a chance to do something good for me. Enter shortbread. I've been making my own Earl Grey blend since the oranges came in (yes, that will be posted too, although it'll be tomorrow that it happens), and really, with tea one must have shortbread. Am I the only one who thinks that? I hope not, but maybe I am.

Anyway, these are pretty simple. They use the standard 1:2:4 ratio, of sugar:butter:flour construction. I'm embarrassed to say that the last time I baked shortbread is when I was mailing it to New Orleans (along with 30 pounds of other goodies) for a friend who stayed after Katrina to rebuild. This time I made them to take to school with me. My Monday class is three hours, and I personally think that three hour long courses should not happen without snacks. So this week, snacks are happening in the form of shortbreads and tea. I hope everyone enjoys this sort of class eating as much as me!

I'm not really sure why I haven't made them since, given how truly simple the are to make. I've seen recipes where the entire process is done by hand, and I'll probably use that process someday, if I don't have electricity. But since I do, I used a hand mixer and that's the way I'm going to write this recipe. After all, we live in a technological world and might as well enjoy its benefits. Hope you enjoy!

1/2 cup bergamot sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour (admittedly, I used 2 1/4 cups of cake flour, since I have that and I don't have all-purpose since I haven't been to the store in a few weeks)
1 teaspoon dried lavender flours, lightly crushed
pinch of salt

Cream together the sugar and butter. Cream in the salt and lavender. Mix in the flour. Wrap in plastic then put in the fridge for at least one hour (I left mine to chill overnight). Heat the oven to 300F, and get out your dough. Roll it out to 1/4 to 1/2 inches thick, and cut it out with biscuit or cookie cutters (or a knife, or...), re-rolling scraps as needed. I made circles, stars and bats. Put your shortbreads on a sheet pan, then put the pan in the fridge for at least 15 minutes (they won't keep their shape if they're not cold when they go in the oven). Bake 20-25 minutes, then cool on a rack. Makes 20-30 shortbreads.

As an aside, Ross is now my photographer, which means the quality of the food pictures should be rising exponentially.

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