Friday, December 13, 2013

Candied Orange Shortbread

The advantage of working in a grocery store, especially one like Farm Boy, is immediate access to awesomely fresh produce.  I couldn't resist buying some lovely clementines as I left work yesterday.  I mean, they had the leaves still attached!  How could I resist?

It's Christmas time, so shortbread is on my brain.  There is already whipped shortbread, ready to be baked, but as I have a platter of sweets to make for a friend, more variety the better.  I decided to candy the rind and use half for the shortbread, and cover the rest in dark chocolate.  With 22 pounds of dark Callebaut to work my way through, everything is getting a coating of chocolate!

Shortbread is ridiculously easy to make and can be modified by flavour in a huge number of ways.  Like toasted almonds?  add some.  Like chocolate chips?  have atter.
These have the candied clementine rind chopped and added to the dough.  I also added a teaspoon of grated fresh rind to give a serious orange flavour.  Make sure the white pith is removed from your peel before adding it to the sugar mixture, as it is bitter.  Here is a link to making candied citrus peel - a great label is included!

Basic Shortbread

1       cup butter
1/2    cup sugar
2     cups flour
1/2   tsp salt

    Cream butter, then add sugar.  Beat until pale and fluffy.  Add flour and salt, mix on low until just mixed together.  Roll and cut with cookie cutters or roll into a log and cut into slices 1/4" thick.  Bake at 325* for 12-15 minutes.  Will keep in an airtight container for a week.

You can add a tsp of flavouring if you choose and/or 1/4 - 1/2 cup of chopped nuts, chocolate chips, toasted coconut....the options are really endless!  I added about 1/4 cup of the candied rind and then a tsp of freshly grated rind to this batch and was happy with the flavour.  The chocolate dipped peel is pretty tasty.  The advantage of putting some candied peel in the cookies?  Not all of the peel is perfectly straight, ready for chocolate any piece not up to dipping standard, chop up and put in the cookie dough!

Happy Baking and Merry Christmas!