Sometimes a recipe haunts you. It may show up in your reader three, five, ten different times. It makes the full and complete food blogger roundup, like a musician with a new album for consumption. Maybe it looks a bit time consuming. Maybe you’re missing one key ingredient. Maybe you’re just not in the mood for it, but you can admit it does look delectable. And then other times, it just happens. You see a recipe, maybe get one reminder, and temptation cannot be resisted. You make it. And, when it comes to this recipe, you love it.
Dorie Greenspan’s Roasted Flour Shortbreads were an instant temptation. Simple, barely sweetened but fully buttery, a very interesting twist on a classic recipe. When it comes down to it, I can’t resist the browning technique. Nuts toasted crisp, butter browned thoroughly,oats turned golden brown, even white chocolate caramelized, it’s irresistible. Considering that roasting flour had never even crossed my radar, I had to try it. A remix on a classic, if you will.
On a sunny Sunday afternoon, this simple cookie can both stand up on it’s own with a nice cup of tea, or you can deck them out to high heaven! Quince jam, full of heady, floral flavors? Vanilla bean specked Meyer lemon marmalade? Some leftover vanilla cream cheese frosting from your latest whoopie pie experiment? Try them all! These cookies are a great way to clear out all the open jars that gather in your refrigerator.
Smooshing the frosted and marmalade-covered cookies together spawned my favorite flavor. A more adult version of a creamsicle, the vanilla beans in the marmalade mingled with the creamy, tangy icing to create the ultimate sandwich cookie.
These toasted shorties are the perfect excuse to break out all your cutest, most colorful tea set and make a quiet tea time in your home.
Dorie’s Toasted Shorties
Makes about 20 cookies. This recipe can be doubled to feed more mouths!
- 1 cup & 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3/4 stick (6tbsp or 3 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350º and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the flour out on the baking sheet. Your flour is going to roast for a total of 20 minutes. Every 5 minutes, stir with a spatula [or small table knife]. By the end of the 20 minutes, the flour should be beige to golden brown. There may even cause some smoking around the edges. Turn off the oven and transfer flour to a bowl to cool.
In Dorie’s original recipe, she says shortbread can be made in a food processor, mixer or by hand, so choose your tool as you wish. Mix the chunks of butter together until smooth, and then add the sugar and the salt. Beat until just combined, once again smooth and creamy but not long enough to where it gets fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add 1 cup of the toasted flour all at once to the bowl and beat until the dough forms large pieces that hold together when pressed. You’re not looking for a smooth ball of dough.
Dump the dough onto a barely floured work surface and carefully knead it together. Place the dough between two sheets of wax or parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll it out to 1/4-inch-thick. Slide the paper and dough onto the backside of a baking sheet or a cutting board and put it into the freezer to firm for about an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350º again when you’re ready to cut and bake your shortbread. Depending on your desired shape of cookie, either use a knife or cutters to cut out cookies. If you have scraps, combine them, reroll, chill and cut. Bake the cookies 10 to 15 minutes until the cookies are golden brown and slightly firm to the touch. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cookies cool for five minutes before transferring them to racks for full cooling.
Cookies will last for 4 days in an air-tight container, if they last that long at all!