12 April 2016

Welcome and encouraged

My love for shortbread requires little explanation. In short, it's just perfect. It's the little black dress of a cookie, one that can withstand a little alternate flour thrown in, it's a dough that can be made ahead and then kept in a tin without problems once baked (or with problems, depending : )) and it is the perfect canvas on which to play with flavors--cardamom, lemon zest, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary... all are welcome and encouraged. But I think it's the texture that keeps me coming back to these sandy, tender things.

We've utilized coconut flour before and enjoyed the results. But while brownies and blondies can be designed to be made completely with coconut flour, it can be a tricky flour to use in cookies. It tends to soften whatever dough it's incorporated into and also absorbs liquid easily. A little goes a very long way. It's finicky and I don't bother playing with it much beyond the brownies and blondies I shared on here. In these cookies, inspired by a recipe on Food52, both a little coconut oil and coconut flour join the usual suspects of wheat flour and butter, for a cookie with a lovely texture. Why didn't I think of the shortbread route before? I certainly will take it again, if it's any indication, I've already made two batches in two weeks.

 Despite the title, don't worry about an overload of coconut flavor. Coconut flour is the sandy, soft non-gluten addition here and both the flour and oil lend just a subtle hue to a tender shortbread cookie. You can use all all-purpose in place of the spelt + all purpose if needed and adjust the spices/zest. 

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup spelt flour
2 Tablespoons coconut flour
2 Tablespoons confectioner's sugar
heaped 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup European butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup coconut oil, room temperature
1 tsp lemon zest
1/4 cup organic sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cardamom or ginger or 1/8 of each

-In a small bowl, whisk flours together well. Set aside. In another small bowl, whisk together both sugars and salt.
-Combine the butter and coconut oil in the bowl of stand mixer. Cream on medium speed for two minutes, until the two are combined. Add lemon zest, and cardamom/ginger. Scrape the bowl down, and beat for another few seconds
-With the mixture on medium, add the sugars in a slow stream. Beat for another two minutes, then scrape down the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla, scraping the bowl.
-Beat for another minute until the mixture looks white and satiny.
Add the flour mix all at once and pulse mixer until large clumps form, scrape as needed, then scrape dough into a mass on plastic wrap. Roll into a log. Chill 2-24 hrs.
-When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice the dough into 1/3-inch thick coins. Place on a parchement lined pan and sprinkle with a little flakey salt and raw sugar, if desired. Bake 16-18 minutes, rotating halfway through, until firm to the touch and lightly browed at the edge. Cool on the sheet pan, then move to rack to cool completely.

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