I am completely addicted to other food blogs and find my need for a quick fix completely appeased by Foodgawker and Tastespotting. No, no, go on, take a look. I’ll wait. (Although, some of you, hopefully have just come from there.)
As a result, an ever-growing list of recipes to try is starting to clog up my bookmarks folder and I’m realizing that I have to actually start making some of things rather than just drooling over images of what other bloggers have made.
Which leads me to Nutmeg Shortbread.
These had been advertised as “tea cookies” at Apple Pie, Patis and Pate, but as I made them I realized they were shortbread. (Is “tea cookies” a common alternative name for shortbread?) This was kind of funny because I don’t love shortbread. But I really liked this recipe. I suspect using granulated sugar instead of powdered sugar gave them a slight chew I don’t find in other recipes.
Since there are so few ingredients, I have to say that this recipe really requires freshly grated nutmeg. Like other spices, pre-ground nutmeg loses something. I don’t think you will regret buying fresh nutmeg. These little nuggets are so innocuous at first appearance, but are beautiful marbled loveliness on the inside and the smell and taste is intoxicating.
When I wrote out the recipe, I only copied the ingredients, the oven temperature and the time the cookies should be in the even, believing the method would be the same as other cookies. So, I used my hand-held mixer to add in the flour and the dough seemed to shatter into granules. And that’s when I really began to freak out. Apparently, I was supposed to mix the flour in by hand. Whoops. But I thought I’d see it through anyway. It’s not really a disaster, I figured, until they come out of the oven as a disaster. So I packed the dough into logs, wound them up in parchment and threw them in the fridge overnight.
When I unwound the packages the next afternoon, the dough had formed into nice logs and, for the most part, were easily cut into slices. There were the odd pieces that crumbled a bit when I tried to cut off a slice — mostly, I suspect, because this is where I had joined the lumps of dough and I guess it was not quite as seamless as it looked..
Still, they baked beautifully and were super tasty. My love of intense flavours, however, was still left wanting. Next time, more nutmeg.
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (But you may want to consider adding more if you really like the taste of this spice.)
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and the egg. In a separate bowl, stir together flour, salt and nutmeg. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture by hand until just combined.
Divide the dough in four and roll into logs about 8″ long and 1″ in diameter. Wrap in wax paper, plastic wrap or parchment and chill until firm, from two hours to overnight.
To bake, preheat the oven to 350. Cut each log into pieces 1/2″ thick and space evenly on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes or until just golden.