Bread and Butter

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So, I’ve been posting about a recipe a week on here since July and since I publicize my blog on the Tweeter, I usually get comments about how good something looks or that I’m making the reader hungry. I love this because that means two things:

One, people are actually reading this thing and two, my food photography doesn’t entirely suck.

As it turns out, I love it even more when someone actually makes something I’ve put up here. On Sunday morning my friend Nathan tweeted he was making the pumpkin cornmeal bread and that it smelled “GREAT”.

He emailed me a picture.

Pumpkin Bread (1)

Yeah, baby.

And then he said, “Brushing a little melted butter over each slice makes it super-delish.” Of course it does. Everything’s better with a little melted butter, right?

That’s a question that doesn’t need an answer. Butter is just magical stuff, isn’t it? I know many people can’t, or choose not to, use it for either medical or ethical reasons, but there really isn’t a substitute for those of us who choose to cook with it.

This recipe for lemon shortbread is for those of us who love the stuff. It’s from Moosewood Restaurant’s cookbook “The New Classics” and it’s just perfect with tea. It’s not too sweet and it’s nicely crumbly as a good shortbread is. This might be really good with fresh thyme; think a savory cookie with a glass of red wine. Mmm.

And if you choose to do that, let me know how it turned out.


Lemon Cornmeal Shortbread

  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup of confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsps. of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. of salt
  • 1 tsp. of freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 ½ cups of unbleached white flour
  • ½ cup of cornmeal
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter or line a baking tray with parchment or another oven-proof paper.
  2. Cream the butter and the sugar together until smooth and fluffy.
  3. Add the lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest. Combine well.
  4. Fold in the flour and the cornmeal carefully, and stir until the dough forms a sticky ball.
  5. Chill the dough for 15 minutes in the fridge.
  6. Cut the chilled dough in half and, with very, very lightly floured hands, press each half into a smooth disk about 6 inches in diameter and about ¼ inch thick. Carefully place each disk onto the prepared baking sheet. I use a bench scraper for this.
  7. Take a sharp knife and lightly score each wedge into 8 equal pie-shaped wedges. Don’t cut into wedge all the way down; all you want to do is create wedges for serving. This is an extremely short, crumbly dough and it’s easier to serve once it’s cool.
  8. You don’t have to do this, but I always do: take a fork and create little tine marks around the outside of each wedge. I don’t know if it’s traditional in Scotland to do this, but it looks nice.
  9. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until firm and golden. Cool for a few minutes, then very, very carefully cut through the shortbread to let it rest until it’s firm. Transfer them to a cooling rack to let them cool completely.

Enjoy!

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