Peach Shortbread

Here is another recipe from my CSA box that may be a little out of season. However I think replacing the peach slices with apples or pears or even preserves would make a delicious year round dish. Shortbread is one of my favorite types of cookies. This bar type shortbread is especially nice for Christmas cookie season because it saves time on shaping the cookies but the shortbread still delivers on fanciness and flavor.

This recipe uses brown butter instead of regular butter. Browning butter involves heating it gently. The butter melts and separates into the butterfat and the milk solids, the later sink to the bottom and brown, giving the butter a lovely nutty flavor and smell. I think it gives the shortbread complexity, but if it seems like too much work feel free to leave it out. The shortbread will still be delicious.
I have to just rave a little about the white doughnut peaches I got in my CSA. I used some in the shortbread as they were starting to go a little brown, but they were so good. Like candy. If you can get your hands on some fresh perfectly ripe peaches next summer, you should do it and devour them and don't worry about the mess the juice makes as it runs down your chin. Oh man, I am making myself hungry.
I will probably we posting more cookies this month, as December is Christmas cookie time, but I have some other dinners which I haven't gotten around to posting as well. I am going to try to keep up a more frequent posting schedule, I promise!

Peach Shortbread

1 cup (7 ounces or 200 grams) white sugar
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking powder
2 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (12 5/8 ounces or 359 grams) cups all-purpose flour (or you can measure 3 cups and remove 2 tablespoons flour)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
1 cup (2 sticks or 8 ounces or 227 grams) cold unsalted butter
1 large egg
2 peaches, pitted and thinly sliced (between 1/8 and 1/4-inch thick)
1. Brown the butter: Melt butter in a small/medium saucepan over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Keep your eyes on it; it burns very quickly after it browns and the very second that you turn around to do something else. Set it in the freezer until solid (about 30 minutes).
2. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, baking powder, flour, salt and spices with a whisk. Use a pastry blender, fork or your fingertips, blend the solidified brown butter and egg into the flour mixture. It will be crumbly. 
3. Butter a 9x13 inch pan, or spray it with a nonstick spray. Pat 3/4 of the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan, pressing firmly. Tile peach slices over crumb base in a single layer. Scatter remaining crumbs evenly over peaches.
4. Bake in a 375°F oven for 30 minutes, until top is slightly brown and you can see a little color around the edges. Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.
Recipe from SmittenKitchen

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1 comment:

  1. I think I'll make this for the Lious tomorrow with blueberries and raspberries!