Friday, June 3, 2011
Spruce Tip and Rose Petal Shortbread
I really enjoying pairing flavors of things that grow in my yard. You know the saying, "What grows together goes together". I wasn't sure about this combination, but I had also picked a few rose petals and they were sitting on the counter next to the spruce tips. Each time I walked by them I couldn't get over the intoxicating smell I knew I would make something that included them both. Please remember when using rose petals that you pick the ones that have not been sprayed or covered with dust on the road edges. Definitely don't use commercial roses, although you can use ones from your garden as long as you haven't put any nasty chemicals on them.
These cookies are subtly flavored. I was really tempted to increase the amount of spruce tips and rose petals when I made them, but it is amazing how potent both ingredients are. The house had a lovely citrus and floral scent as the cookies baked in the oven. In the end only a hint of the flavor came through, just enough to make people question what it might be. In the end it was the perfect amount of each. The only reason I would add more is to give the cookies a little more color, I was a bit disappointed that you couldn't actually see the pink and green colors, but I don't think it would be worth it to upend the delicate nature of the shortbread.
Have you ever made anything with spruce tips? Would love to find more recipes if you have one to share.
inspired by Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska
recipe adapted from Flour by Joanne Chang
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (2 sticks)
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon finely chopped spruce tips
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup loosely filled wild rose petals
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat for another 3-4 minutes, stopping the mixer as needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce speed to low and add egg yolk and spruce tips, beat until thoroughly combined.
Sift together flour, cornstarch, salt and baking powder. With mixer on low speed add the flour mixture 1/4 cup at a time to the butter mixture and then mix until all ingredients are completely incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.
Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and cover with the wrap, rolling into a log shape as you wrap. Allow dough to sit in refrigerator for 30 minutes or up to two days, or until it is firm enough to roll.
With rack in center of the oven, preheat to 325 degrees F. Flour your work surface and roll the dough out to about 1/4 inch thick. Using a knife or cookie cutters, cut dough into 12-15 uniform pieces and arrange them on a baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart.
Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the cookies are a very light golden brown. Let cookies cool on baking sheet for ten minutes and then transfer to a wire cooling rack until completely cool. Will keep for three days (possibly longer, but I didn't test them) in an airtight container.