Delicious Almond-Orange Shortbread
I am on a big of a baking tear these days and have finally managed to sit down and write a post about it. Having seen this post on smitten kitchen about coconut shortbread and having just received some ground almonds in my latest grocery delivery I decided to make some almond-orange shortbread. And what do you know, it was deliciousness itself!!
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen 10.2.09 who adapted from Bon Appetit, April 2004
1/2 cup (about 1.5 ounces) ground almonds
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks or 6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1-2 teaspoons of orange zest (you can vary the amount of zest depending on how "orangey" you would like the final biscuit to be. i used closer to 1 tsp than 2.)
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended (I used a spoon and my own steampower -- it took a bit of time, but it worked pretty well!). Mix in salt, almond extract, vanilla, and orange zest. Beat in flour in 2 additions. Stir in ground almonds. Gather dough together, flatten into a disc and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 1 hour. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Soften slightly at room temperature before rolling out.)
Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll out 1 dough disk on lightly floured work surface to scant 1/4-inch thickness. Using 1 3/4- to 2-inch-diameter cookie cutters, cut dough into rounds. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart. Gather dough scraps and reroll; cut out additional cookies. Repeat procedure with remaining dough disk until all of dough is used.
Bake cookies until light golden, about 20-25 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Can be made ahead. Store airtight at room temperature up to 1 week.)