Saturday, November 14, 2009

Orange Shortbread Cookies

It was Halloween a few weeks ago and I wanted to make something for the kids that day. However, knowing they were going to come back with more-than-anyone-can-eat candies, I decided to make something "healthier" (like with real butter and real sugar, not corn syrup and fake coloring). Since Orange was the color of the moment, I came up with the idea of orange-flavored cookies instead of orange-colored cookies.
I was looking for orange flavoring at the supermarket and came across The True Orange natural sweetener. I thought to give it a try with a French recipe for Diamond shortbread cookies. In this recipe, the dough is rolled into a log, then rolled in sugar before slicing the cookies and baking them. As a result and with a lot of imagination, the edges of the cookies sparkle like diamonds! We all liked them and the good thing about this recipe is that you can make it all year round! Not just for Halloween! Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (for about 20 cookies)

- 7 Tbs (100g) of European Style butter
- 3/4 cup (90g) of All Purpose Flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 6 Tbs (50g) Powdered sugar
- 6 Tbs (40g) almond flour (almond meal)
- 6 tiny packets of True Orange sweetener
- 2 Tbs cane sugar

  • In a medium-size bowl, cream the butter and the powdered sugar
  • Add the egg yolk and mix in thoroughly
  • In another bowl, mix the flour, the almond meal, and the orange flavor to remove any lump.
  • Add the flour/almond/orange into the first bowl and stirr
  • Use your hand to make a ball with the dough, being careful not to work the dough too much
  • Roll the dough with your hands to make a log about 1 1/2 inch thick (4cm)
  • Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours (or 40mn in the freezer)
  • Preheat oven to 355F (180C)
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Put cane sugar on a working surface
  • Roll the log in the sugar, pressing to make the sugar stick to the edges
  • Slice the log into 2/5-inch (1cm) thick cookies
  • Spread the cookies on the parchment paper, leaving space in between cookies (they'll spread a little bit)
  • Cook in the oven for about 12 minutes (when the edges start to brown).
  • Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring onto a rack for complete cooling

My personal comments:
  • I use a food processor to make the dough.
  • If you don't have almond meal, you could finely grind raw almonds. If the almonds still have their skin on, the meal will be brown.
  • I tried to use unrefined cane sugar on the edges of the cookies but if you want to achieve the sparkle of diamonds, it's best to use refined cane sugar.
  • You could keep these cookies in a box in a dry environment.
  • You could flavor them with Vanilla or other natural flavors as well to make a perfect home-made gift for the Holidays. Just make sure the flavor is in a solid form, not liquid. Otherwise, your dough will not have the proper consistency.
  • European style butter has a slightly higher fat content than the traditional American butter. As a result, it has a creamier texture; dough will crisp more.

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