We are at week 10 of thee 12 weeks of Christmas cookies. When we first started this, I thought it would take forever to finish it up, but now we only have 2 more weeks! There have been so many great cookie recipes during this and can't wait to see what the next weeks bring!
I saw this recipe in Sherry Yards book The Secret of Baking and was curious about the use of Orange Blossom Water. I had never seen it, much less needed to use it in a recipe. I knew that I wanted to try it. That was about a year ago. I don't know why I haven't made them sooner. I really like the flavor of them. They have a base of orange flavor with a little hint of a floral scent. And then the vanilla mellows it all out. The recipe said to roll it out to about 1/4 inch thick and cut into a shape, freeze for 15 minutes then bake. I chose to bake them in an 8x8 square dish and cut them into squares. They turned out a little more fluffy than the shortbread that I have made before. Maybe it is because I didn't roll it out? Not sure, but they still taste yummy! I think I might like to make this recipe and adapt it to this flavor.
Orange Vanilla Shortbread
By: Sherry Yard
2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
2 Tbsp finely grated orange zest
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp orange flower water
1 large egg, at room temperature
Sift together flour and baking soda in medium bowl and set aside
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Add the sugar, vanilla extract and scraped seeds from the bean, orange zest, salt and orange flower water. Cream on medium speed until it is smooth and lump free, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
Add the egg and beat on low speed for 30 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
On low speed, add the flour mixture. Beat until all the dry ingredients are incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. The dough will be gooey. Remove the dough from the mixer, scrape it onto a sheet of plastic film, press it into a 1/2-1 inch thick disk, wrap tightly, and chill for at least 1 hour. At this point, the dough will keep nicely, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 1 month. (Thaw frozen dough at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until you can slice it.)
Dust a work surface lightly with flour. Place the dough between 2 sheets of lightly floured parchment paper, roll it out 1/4 inch thick, and freeze it for at least 2 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Adjust the rack to the lower third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
When the dough has frozen, carefully peel off the parchment and place the dough on a work surface dusted lightly with flour. Dip a 3 inch round cookie cutter in flour, then cut out the cookies. Place the cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets, alternating the rows like a checkerboard. Return the dough to the freezer for 15 minutes or more whenever it becomes too sticky to cut.
Bake one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges, turning the sheet front to back halfway through the baking. Remove from the oven and carefully slide the parchment directly onto a work surface. Wait at least 5 minutes before serving or 30 minutes before storing the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.