We have teamed up with La Tourangelle—makers of artisan oils, salad dressings, and cooking sprays—to indicate you all of the great methods you should use their specialty oils (suppose: roasted walnut oil, toasted sesame oil, and extra) at house.
If ever there have been a cookie that epitomized the phrase, “The sum is larger than the components,” it might be a traditional shortbread. In its most pared-down iteration, shortbread is a mix of fats (most frequently butter), flour, and sugar. Positive, it’s easy, however after a brief blast within the oven it turns into crisp at first chew—then melt-in-your-mouth toasted candy and buttery bliss.
Whereas butter shortbread is undeniably pleasant, Deb Perelman’s olive oil-based shortbread just lately received me over. Hers begins with a easy dough made with flour, powdered sugar, turbinado sugar, and salt. However then, as a substitute of softened butter, she works in olive oil, together with a wholesome dose of chocolate and recent rosemary. Her shortbread is superbly quick (as in, crumbly however in a great way), deeply flavored by the fruity olive oil, and full with exceedingly crisp, sugary edges—a revelation.
Because it seems, the shortness of Deb’s shortbread makes a complete lot of sense. We all know that overworking dough creates gluten and results in powerful cookies. However based on Shirley O. Corriher in BakeWise, “Fat grease flour proteins and forestall their becoming a member of to kind gluten. Oil is significantly better at greasing the flour proteins than both butter or shortening.”
So utilizing oil—not butter—is definitely advantageous in shortbread. With oil it’s simpler to get a brief, tender cookie as a result of the oil covers the flour proteins higher. (Simply don’t be alarmed in case your dough seems to be a bit dry at first—the oil is a bit more durable to work in.)
What’s extra, with Deb’s recipe, you needn’t relaxation the dough earlier than rolling it out; it’s not too mushy, like a butter dough could be. And since we didn’t construct up the gluten, we don’t have to fret about letting it relaxation and chill out. Principally, oil makes the entire shortbread course of that a lot simpler.
Relating to the world of cooking oils, there’s much more to select from than simply olive. So I’ve been experimenting with including nut and seed oils, plus mix-ins, to Deb’s shortbread recipe. Listed here are three of my favourite combos:
Toasted Sesame Oil + Halva
For my first riff, I swapped in toasted sesame oil for the olive oil, utilizing the identical quantity the recipe requires. I additionally eliminated the rosemary and threw in half cup of crumbled halva, a sweet constructed from sesame paste; I saved the chocolate chunks. The consequence was a wealthy shortbread that had various textures and a beautiful nutty taste. The toasted sesame oil gave the entire thing a barely savory edge that offset the sweetness of the halva however nonetheless tasted sesame-forward.
Roasted Pistachio Oil + Bitter Cherries
Subsequent up: a pistachio and bitter cherry shortbread. Right here, I used roasted pistachio oil as a substitute of olive oil (once more, a 1:1 swap), and tossed in half cup every of bitter cherries and chopped pistachios instead of the chocolate and rosemary. As if that weren’t luxurious sufficient, I drizzled the entire mess in some white chocolate.
Pistachio’s delicate taste is notoriously troublesome to infuse into baked items; it will get misplaced simply. Roasted pistachio oil solves that drawback. Each chew is laced with the refined taste of pistachio, complemented by the tart zing of chewy bitter cherries, and balanced by the creamy sweetness of white chocolate. These fairly little cookies would make a beautiful addition to a vacation dessert plate.
Roasted Walnut Oil + Espresso
Roasted walnut oil’s heat, aromatic flavors are pretty on this shortbread, with 1 tablespoon floor espresso, 1 cup of chopped walnuts, and brown sugar; swap the powdered sugar for half cup brown sugar plus 1 tablespoon cornstarch. For those who wished to (and why wouldn’t you?), you may high these with a easy maple glaze constructed from 1 cup powdered sugar, half cup maple syrup, and a splash of milk.
Bonus concepts: Attempt toasted pumpkin seed oil shortbread with toffee bits and pumpkin seeds (simply in time for fall). Or possibly roasted almond oil shortbread with marzipan and chocolate? Roasted peanut oil with chopped dates and flaky salt could be particularly pretty. The shortbread will at all times be quick, however the checklist of the way to riff on it will get longer and longer.
What’s your favourite shortbread recipe? Inform us within the feedback!
In partnership with La Tourangelle, we’re sharing the whole lot you could learn about utilizing specialty oils—from delicate roasted pistachio oil to fragrant roasted pistachio oil—at house. Head to the La Tourangelle web site to top off your personal kitchen with their specialty oils, and remember to take a look at their lineup of natural salad dressings and premium artisan spray oils whilst you’re at it.