Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Chai Shortbread Cookies

After two jam-packed days, I find myself unable to cook anything other than leftovers. Rather than let the nascent blog just wither away, I thought I would post some cookies I baked this morning. They don't use anything -- anything -- from the farm box. And I struggled with whether or not they should be posted, since they don't come from the farm box. But, the Other Half has assured me that I should share and share alike. So today, we take a quick detour from the farm box.

Waking up to a 70-something-degree morning made it possible for me to tolerate having the oven on. The night before, I assembled some cookie dough from a recipe I've been wanting to make. This cookie -- Chai Shortbread -- appeared in the December 2007 issue of Cooking Light. (I know -- I've been using this book a lot already in the blog, but only because it's been the publication I've been entering into the recipe database lately. If you don't know about the recipe database, that will be a story for another blog post.)

They sounded delicious -- a spicy, peppery cookie. Perfect for breakfast or afternoon snacking. Also a plus? No milk required. Which is good since I am currently out of milk and also seemingly unable to get to the store.

Assemble the simple dough the night before by creaming powdered sugar and butter together, and then adding flour, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and pepper. As with pie dough, then add a touch of ice water and cut into the dough until it just holds together.

Divide the dough in half and roll into two separate logs. Cover and fridge for one hour, or, for me, overnight.

I did not follow directions very carefully as it was late and I wanted cookies, but I also wanted to go to bed. So I was probably a bit too generous in my dashes of this and that, which probably caused the dough to have too many dry ingredients versus wet. The dough was crumbly and difficult to get into a log shape.

Chilling overnight helped keep the logs together, but they were still a bit difficult to cut. I gave up on all pretense of having the cookies be attractive, and simply cut them into discs and gave them over to baking. A mere 10 minutes later, I had some imperfect, borderline unattractive shortbread cookies that tasted great. I love the strong presence of cloves. I might go even heavier on the pepper next time I make these.

Farm box ingredients used: none


Addie said...

Hey, Cathy! I'm so glad to have found your new blog. Johnson's is a fantastic CSA, and I can't wait to see what magic you create from its produce.

Just an FYI that I keep track of the Central Texas food blogs (all 115 or so of them!) and if you'd like to participate in the potlucks, happy hours or other fun activities, you can join the Austin Food Bloggers group on Facebook. If you are interested in getting in on the blogger happy hours that restaurants, farms, etc. host, shoot me an e-mail with your e-mail address and I can add it to the contact list of food bloggers.

Happy blogging!

Addie Broyles
American-Statesman food writer

Holly said...

Glad the other half urged you in the right direction. Great recipe! Also neat that I have all my old Cooking Light mags so I can look up all your recipes.

Am looking fwd to hearing more about your recipe database!