12 April 2009

Short and Sweet

Halloween may reign as the king of candy holidays, but Easter isn't far behind. While I'll never tire of jamming as many Reese's peanut butter eggs as possible into my mouth, it's nice to have something a little lighter for post-brunch teatime. And what better than shortbread?

Ginger Amaranth Shortbread
Makes: 2 dozen cookies.

1 1/2 cups white whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup amaranth flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup natural cane sugar
1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger

1. In small bowl, whisk flours, salt and ginger together. In large bowl, with electric mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add sugar and beat until mixed, then add dry ingredients and beat until just blended. Stir in crystallized ginger.

2. Gather dough into a ball, then flatten into a disk. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for 1 hour, or overnight.

3. Heat oven to 350° and line baking sheets with parchment paper. On lightly floured surface, roll dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes and transfer to baking sheets. Freeze for 10 minutes, then bake cookies for 10 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Let cool on sheets; store any leftover cookies tightly wrapped at room temperature.

These tender, spicy cookies are from Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking, which makes a very convincing case for whole grains in baking- something I've turned my white-flour nose up at for years.

I was missing out, because the unusual flours in this recipe turn out nuanced flavors- from toasty to nutty- that beautifully set off the double-ginger kick.

And how could I pass up a chance to bust out the bunny and flower cookie cutters?

This shortbread is delightful with a strong tea, such as English breakfast or a sencha. That way, you can quiet any misgivings about consuming more sweets with how healthy a treat this is.

And get right back to appreciating spring.


anna said...

Those look so yummy! I love the bunny shape.

Anonymous said...

G.A.S. este mas!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Easter has it all over Halloween when it comes to best candy. Consider Peep jousting, for instance. You'd never have that much fun microwaving a mini Mars bar.

Gata said...

Where does one find amaranth flour? (in NYC)

ana dane said...

i got some at a health food store here in brooklyn- look for bob's red mill brand. i know kaluystan's (123 lex) has it too, and it may be cheaper there.

Feasting on Art said...

Oh shortbread is in my line up of recipes to make. This looks so so wonderful!!! I love your little cookies shapes.