Lemon Curd Shortbread Cookies and Fluffy White Flowers

2656xOne of my most popular posts has been “Extra-Buttery Butter Cookies,” from September 8, 2011. It is a wonderful cookie, kind of like a big pool of butter in cookie form. I have been wondering: Is it possible to find an even butterier cookie than the Extra-Buttery Butter Cookie? I knew that to do this I would need to use so-called European butters, because they have a somewhat higher butterfat content then American butters, such as Land O Lakes. So off to the store I went to purchase Kerrygold Butter, which is made in Ireland. I chose a recipe from their website, called “Melting Moments, which are butter cookies sandwiched together with a chocolate frosting. The recipe is as follows:

Melting Moments

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Sprinkled with powdered sugar.

1/2 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup cake flour
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (6 oz.) Kerrygold Butter, at warm room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, cornstarch, baking powder and salt, and set aside. In a larger bowl, beat the butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth and light. Mix in the flour mixture just until the flour is incorporated and a smooth dough forms.

For each cookie, roll a level tablespoon of dough into balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet, spacing them 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly with a fork. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cookie bottoms are a very light brown. Allow to cool.

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Although the recipe specified sandwiching the cookies together with a chocolate frosting,  I had a jar of Dickinson’s Lemon Curd, and I suspected that it would work well, and it did–the combination of the buttery cookies, which are like shortbread, with the Lemon Curd, which contains eggs and butter, was wonderful. You certainly can make your own lemon curd, but Dickinson’s has the perfect balance of sweetness and lemony tartness. Come to think of it, you could also use a raspberry or apricot jam to sandwich them together. Lots of possibilities.

Baking notes: Be sure the butter is well softened. It shouldn’t be melting, but you should be able to beat it easily with a spoon or mixer. If the butter is too firm, you may find it hard to incorporate all the flour.

Are these cookies the butteriest? While they are very buttery, and very delicious, I have to say that the Extra-Buttery ones still win the prize. My taste testers ate these cookies like Oreos–pulling them apart and eating each cookie separately.

IMG_2675I brought the cookies to work in this robin tin. It’s a bit Christmas-y, but I love the birds!

To be honest, though, all I feel like doing lately is photographing flowers. So with the cookies stowed away in their tin, I brought out a bunch of white chrysanths purchased at a local grocery store, and the results are as follows.

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And since real birds are scarce lately (it’s been very cold), here are some imaginary ones . . .

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Take care. Namaste. Fran

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