Friday, November 16, 2007

#16 Swedish Shortbreads

These have a favorite spice of mine. Cardamom is not only fun to say but it tastes good too! If you don't have colored sprinkles, just use the clear ones, they look great on the table with a pretty dish!

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks), at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Colored sanding sugars or chopped toasted pecans

Sift together the flour, cardamom, and salt into a bowl.

Put the butter and confectioners' sugar in a food processor, and process until smooth. Mix the the egg, vanilla, and lemon zest together and add to processor bowl. Pulse processor until combined. Add the flour mixture and process to make a soft buttery dough. Divide dough in half; roll into logs and place in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough logs for 30 minutes until just firm enough to shape into uniform logs, 8-inches long by 2-inches in diameter. Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Scatter either the sanding sugars or toasted nuts on a work surface and roll the logs until completely coated, press down on nuts to embed them into the dough. Cut into 1/4-inch thick cookies and space about 1 inch apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until golden around the edges, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool cookies on the pan on wire racks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.