We were heading to our neighbours' , and as I have been wanting to bake cookies, this was my excuse to do so. Surprisingly, the shortbread was a good pairing with the chardonnay, the chardonnay blend and the gewurztraminer that were served.
I made use of the pink grapefruit in the fruit bowl...using the zest to flavour the cookie dough, and the juice to make a glaze. I garnished the shortbread with some chopped dried blueberries that I had. Grapefruit and blueberries go really well together.
The cookies were buttery, sweet and crumbly and the chewy blueberries were a pleasant surprise.
4 ounces soft butter
finely grated zest of 1 pink grapefruit
Mix with the paddle attachment of your mixer until well combined.
1/4 cup icing sugar
2 - 3 drops of vanilla
Cream until the sugar and butter are well combined.
3/4 cup flour
Mix on low speed until the flour is just incorporated into the butter and sugar. Do not overmix; you can finish mixing the last little bit by hand if you like.
Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured counter, and form it into a small square, ready to roll out.
Roll the dough out to a thickness of 1/4".
Try and keep it as square as possible, unless you are using a shaped cookie cutter.
Cut the dough into 2" X 2" squares (or whatever shape you want).
Gently lift and place the cut cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet into the fridge to chill the cookies before baking them. I left mine in the fridge for about an hour. Turn the oven on to 325F.
Bake until the cookies are set, and slightly golden around the edges, rotating the baking sheet half way through.
This should take about 13 - 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
To make the glaze, juice the zested grapefruit.
1 tablespoon of juice
1/4 cup of icing sugar
Continue adding icing sugar until you have a thick, but still pourable glaze.
I used just over 1/2 cup of icing sugar to achieve the consistency that I wanted.
Place the cooled cookies onto a cooling rack.
Using a spoon, or a piping bag if you prefer, drizzle the glaze over the shortbread.
Chop some dried blueberries, and sprinkle them over the top of the glaze, gently pressing them to make sure they stick.
Set the cookies aside for an hour to allow the glaze to firm up.
Place the cookies onto a platter and serve...with wine, tea or coffee or even just by themselves.
- I used the pink grapefruit that I had on hand, but any citrus fruit zest can be used...grapefruit, lemon, lime, orange. The amount of zest I got from the pink grapefruit was about 1 teaspoon, very finely grated.
- The finer the zest is grated, the more of the fragrant oil in it is released, increasing the flavour. Be careful not to grate any of the white pith underneath the coloured zest, as this tends to be quite bitter.
- After juicing the grapefruit and using the amount needed for the glaze, I drank the rest...lovely, fresh and sweet. You could also use it for something else, like a salad dressing or marinade.
- The dried blueberries, or any other dried fruit, can be chopped and combined with the flour when adding it to the butter and sugar. This will give texture, colour and flavour throughout the dough. I chose to garnish with them for the pop of colour on top.
- Chilling the rolled and cut cookie dough prevents it from spreading out in the oven. The cookies can be rolled, cut out, and layered between sheets of parchment paper and frozen. Remove and bake the amount you need at any given time.
- The baked cookies can also be frozen. Defrost before glazing.
- If your dough is too soft to roll and cut right after you have made it, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it into the fridge for half an hour to chill.
- I used a spoon to drizzle the glaze as I wanted a more rustic look. Using a piping bag or parchment cone is another option; your lines will be more uniform in size.
- Food colouring can be added to accentuate the pink colour of the grapefruit juice...I'm not a fan of food colouring, and prefer a more natural approach.
- Other ingredients that can be added to the dough, or to the glaze, include toasted and roughly chopped nuts; candied zest; edible gold leaf; poppy seeds or ground black pepper; coarse sugar (coloured or white).