Who likes shortbread? I do! In a way, it's in the "no big whoop" department. It's not loaded with nuts or dripping with caramel. It's not weighed down with marshmallows or packed with peanut butter. It often contains just four ingredients: sugar, salt, flour, and butter, lots of butter. In fact, the best shortbread should have the least added to it, allowing the butter to provide the dominant flavor of the cookie. Sweet simplicity.
But I can't help myself- I have to tinker! While this recipe still contains the lushness of a rich butter cookie, the cornmeal adds textural interest, giving the cookie some "tooth", while the orange peel wakes up the sleepy flavor of the butter. This is a great cookie (especially paired with hot chocolate)!
Orange Cornmeal Shortbread
1/4 c sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
8 tbl unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp orange zest, finely grated
3/4 c AP flour
1/4 c cornmeal
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With an electric mixer, mix together sugar and butter for one minute. Add the rest and mix until it just comes together. Chill for 30 minutes, then roll 1/4" thick. Cut into desired shapes. Dip each cookie into granulated sugar and bake until light sandy brown.