Now that the semester’s over (I’m hoping to finish my grading today), I’ve started baking for the spring Patreon treat boxes (which I think we’re going to be shipping around the 2nd week of June). If you join now (by the end of May), you’ll get a June box, which is something like a 75% discount on that box. They start at $10 / month: https://www.patreon.com/mohanraj
We have a fairies & starlight theme for this set of treat boxes, and I feel like these are bang on theme — can’t you just see fairies sprinkling delicate centaurea petals about? And aren’t they adorable on the flowered china? But sadly, I’ve forgotten the name of which grandmother we inherited this china from — Susan, do you remember?
Since we’re hosting an event at the house on Saturday, I figure I can put some of the baked goods out for nibbling while people shop, and I’ll wrap the others individually tightly in plastic wrap and freeze them, so they stay fresh for the treat boxes.
I waffled a little on how to top these cookies, but I think I’m going to save the colorful sprinkles to top something else. These are my classic very limey shortbread, graced with white chocolate and centaurea (aka cornflower).
If you don’t grow organic centaurea in your own garden, fear not — it’s easy to find the petals online.
Lime & Rosewater Shortbread,
with White Chocolate & Centaurea Petals
3/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
1 c. sugar
2 scraped vanilla beans or 2 t. pure vanilla extract
3/4 t. salt
1 lime, zest and juice
1 t. citric acid (optional)
1 T rosewater
3 1/2 cups flour
1/2 c. crystallized ginger, chopped fine
1 1/2 c. white chocolate chips (optional)
dried organic centaurea (cornflower) petals (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar; add the vanilla and salt, citric acid, lime juice, lime zest, and rosewater. Then add flour and mix on low until dough forms. Stir in ginger.
3. Turn out dough onto floured board. (If it’s not coming together into a dough, the heat of your hands will help.) Firmly pat flat (to desired cookie height, usually about 1/2 inch). If using cookie cutters, cut out shapes, place on parchment-covered baking sheet, and chill for 15 minutes (to help hold shape).
NOTE: Can be kept chilled at this point for several days, covered in plastic wrap, and then rolled, cut, and baked fresh.
Alternately, press into baking pan or shortbread mold, prick with fork. You can also cut shapes out after baking — shortbread is very forgiving that way — but then the individual cookie edges won’t be browned. Or you can do what I did for this batch — roll them into two long tubes, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, chill, and then just slice for slightly wonky round-ish cookies.
4. Remove from fridge and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the edges begin to brown, then remove to wire rack to cool.
5. Optional decorating — once shortbread has cooled, melt white chocolate in microwave at half power for a few minutes, or in a double boiler. Dip shortbread pieces in chocolate, then set on rack to dry. Sprinkle with dried petals while chocolate is still liquid.