I am on vacation this week, but I could not resist posting this recipe to compliment the fig ice cream in the last post. They are a perfect match, salty, sweet, crunchy, creamy, and very authentic. Enjoy the short fig season with this as a compliment, and carry this recipe into the fall and holiday season.
Butter Shortbread Cookies
Editor's note: This recipe is from Ming Tsai's Simply Ming.
The recipe makes four logs of dough, which can be used to make one log each of classic shortbread, five-spice shortbread, double chocolate-ginger shortbread, and caramel macadamia nut crunch.
Servings: Makes 4 logs 10 inches long by 1 1/4 inches in diameter.
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Interior scrapings of 1/2 split vanilla bean, preferably Tahitian
3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1. In the bowl of a mixer, combine butter, sugar and salt and cream on medium speed until blended, about 2 minutes. One by one, add the egg yolks, mixing until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and the scrapings of the vanilla bean. Scrape down the bowl.
2. Turn the mixer off and add the flour. Turn the machine to low and mix until the flour is completely incorporated. Remove the dough from the bowl. Working on parchment or wax paper, form dough into 4 logs 10 inches long and 1 1/4 inches in diameter; wrap and chill.
3. Use each log to make a different cookie: classic shortbread, five-spice shortbread, double chocolate-ginger shortbread, and caramel macadamia nut crunch.
Cook's note: You can freeze the dough flavored or unflavored, in logs or not — for up to 2 weeks.
1 cup granulated, raw, or turbinado sugar
1 chilled log of butter shortbread cookie dough
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place the sugar in a small bowl.
2. Cut the log into twenty 1/2-inch rounds. Dip one cut surface of each of the rounds into the sugar and arrange them 2 inches apart on all sides on a parchment-lined or nonstick cookie sheet or sheets.
3. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool the cookies on a wire rack.