07 September 2010

Grapefruit Shortbread

What? Another post? But that's three in one week immediately following months of silence! How about some consistency!

Yes, I should have predicted it would be like this... Almost a whole summer of nada but once school starts up again its back to blogging, cooking, and more blogging. During summer I was too busy with salt river trips and having a sweet job and going camping to take pictures of food. But now... well all I've really got on my to-do list is going to class and homework, and thus blogging has returned as a prime method of procrastination. Don't worry, I already did my work for today.

I talked a little bit yesterday about how fall is almost here and how I find that incredibly exciting. I'm a little bummed that it won't be quite as nice as it would have been if I was still in Prescott or Portland, but hopefully Tucson will cool down just a little bit? Please? and maybe some leaves could even change color? Well it doesn't matter, I will be wearing tights and scarves and making copious amounts of butternut squash and fresh pasta and browned butter and thick breads regardless. Fall is my favorite season and I'm going to enjoy it no matter where I am, damnit.

That said... It's still averaging in the 90s here and it doesn't look like much will be changing soon. Last night I put my foot down, though, and decided it was time to make some shortbread. I bought a big bag of grapefruits when I first came down here and they're threatening to turn mushy so I decided to incorporate a bit of summer citrus in with my buttery autumn cookie. For some reason I detest the idea of lemon in baked goods (although I love it in savory dishes), but grapefruit seemed like it would be the most awesome thing ever mixed with flour, sugar, and butter. Turns out it was! If it's cold enough where you are, or if you just can't put off fall any longer, whip these up. You won't be disappointed.

Grapefruit Shortbread
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
zest from one grapefruit, about 2 tsp
2 1/4 cups flour

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and begin by zesting your grapefruit. Make sure you only get the colored outside bit, and none of the intensely bitter white bit.

2. Cut the zested grapefruit in half and squeeze out the juice. You will get about 3/4 cup but you only need 1/3... the rest is delicious so save it to make a cocktail with or something.
3. Combine the butter, sugar, juice, and zest in a bowl.

4. Use an electric mixer to combine until creamy. That's what you SHOULD do. I, however, do not have an electric mixer in my very understocked kitchen. I don't even have a whisk, which would be the most logical second choice. Nope, I've just got a spoon. So my mixture didn't turn out quite like it should have. Yours should be much creamier and even than this.

5. Slowly incorporate the flour. It should come together in a thick, dryish dough. Don't expect it to be all crumbly like most shortbread doughs, because unlike those shortbreads where the only moisture is the butter, this one has all that juice. Don't worry, it will still be buttery and crumbly after baking.

6. Press into a large baking dish. I'm not sure about the exact size- 13x9 maybe. The dough should be even and about 1/2 inch thick in all places. Use a fork to poke little holes into the pressed dough, giving it that classic shortbread look.

7. Bake for about 30 minutes, checking every once in a while. The shortbread is done when the outer edges are golden brown. The rest will still be very soft because of all the butter. Let it cool in the pan for about 15 minutes and it will firm right up. Cut into 1 1/2 inch squares and serve!

All I wanted to do this morning was eat one of these with a cup of tea. Unfortunately it's still to hot for me to imagine drinking an actual cup of tea. Oh well... I'll just have to settle for eating these with ice cream and frozen fruit for now.

Enjoy the rest of your week!


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