What could be better for June than something with rose? And what could be better for #cookiesandkindness than a cookie that divides into 12 perfect-for-sharing wedges or, more poetically, fans? The shortbreads are a pleasure to make and lovely with tea – iced or hot – lemonade or sparkling wine. They’re best with friends … as most things are.
To join our merry band of bakers who share, bake these cookies (the recipe is below or on page 191 of Dorie’s Cookies), share them and then, if you’d like, post what you’ve baked and shared – tag it #cookiesandkindness and, if you’d like me to see what you’ve done, tag me @doriegreenspan and #doriescookies
Photograph by Davide Luciano for Dorie’s Cookies
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Rose-Hibiscus Shortbread Fans
From Dorie’s Cookies, page 191
Makes 12 fans
FOR THE SHORTBREAD
3/4 cup (102 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (85 grams) white rice flour (or use a total of 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour)
1/3 cup (67 grams) sugar
2 teaspoons hibiscus tea leaves
1 stick (8 tablespoons; 4 ounces; 113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into chunks, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure rose extract
FOR THE ICING (OPTIONAL)
1/2 cup (60 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
Rose-colored sanding sugar, for dusting
TO MAKE THE SHORTBREAD: Center a rack in the oven and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch round cake pan, dust with flour and tap out the excess.
Whisk both flours together.
Toss the sugar and tea into a stand mixer, or into a large bowl in which you can use a hand mixer. Rub the ingredients together with your fingertips until fragrant. If using a stand mixer, fit it with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and salt to the bowl and beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the vanilla and rose extracts. Turn off the mixer, add the flour all at once and mix on low speed. After 3 to 4 minutes, you’ll have a bowl of soft, moist curds and crumbs. Squeeze a few curds, and if they hold together, you’re good to go. (You don’t want to mix the dough until it comes together uniformly.)
Turn the crumbs into the pan and pat them down evenly. If you’d like to smooth the top, “roll” the crumbs using a spice bottle as a rolling pin. (You can also tap down the crumbs with the bottom of a small measuring cup.) Be firm but not forceful; the point is to knit the crumbs together and just lightly compress them. Using the tines of a dinner fork and pressing down so that you hear the metal tap against the pan, prick lines of holes in the dough to create a dozen wedges. Finish by pressing the bottom of the tines horizontally around the edges of the dough, as though you were crimping a piecrust.
Bake the shortbread for 25 to 27 minutes, rotating the pan after 15 minutes, or until the top feels firm to the touch and the edges have a tinge of color; the center should remain fairly pale. Transfer the pan to a rack and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Prick the holes you made again, then carefully run a table knife between the pan and the shortbread and even more carefully turn the shortbread over onto the rack. Then invert it onto a cutting board and use a long sturdy knife or a bench scraper to cut the shortbread along the pricked lines. Lift the pieces back onto the rack and allow the fans to cool before icing or serving.
TO MAKE THE ICING AND FINISH THE COOKIES (OPTIONAL):
Put the confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl, add 1 tablespoon milk and stir to blend. If the icing is too thick to brush or spread smoothly and easily, add more milk drop by drop. Using a pastry brush or a small icing spatula, ice each shortbread wedge. You can ice the whole wedge or leave a thin border, my preference. Or just swipe one long side of each fan with icing. Sprinkle a few grains of sanding sugar on each fan and let the icing set.
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