All bagged up and ready for the mail!
I gave these as gifts this past Christmas and they were a big hit. Tender, buttery, and incredibly flavorful, this is a stellar cookie recipe that I can't recommend highly enough. I've made a variation of these before, and continue to tweek the recipe, but this cookie's backbone and inspiration comes from Casue Sweets, an amazing sister owned cookie company here in NYC.
I decided to make the icing with orange juice and fresh minced rosemary this time. It was really nice and subtile. A winner!
Almond and Coconut Flour Orange Shortbread Cookies with Rosemary Icing
Yield: 30-60 cookies depending on the size of your cookies. I got just short of 60.
1 lb unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed lightly
1 1/8 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/2 cup almond meal/flour
4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon orange juice
1 Tablespoon orange zest
I used my stand mixer for this recipe, but a hand mixer will work fine here too. Cream the butter and sugar on medium/low until light and fluffy. Mix in the salt, vanilla, OJ, and zest until combined. Add the almond and coconut flours on medium/low speed until well combined. Then, in two additions, add the all purpose flour, pulsing until just combined.
Turn the dough out onto a floured board and bring it together. It should be just a tad crumbly (mix in more flour before turing your dough out if it seems too wet in the mixing bowl). Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes to an hour.
Line baking sheets with parchment or siltpat and get your cookie cutters and work station ready.
Preheat your oven to 325. Take out a chunk of dough, about two cups or so, and put the rest back in the fridge covered tightly. On a floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll the dough into a sheet about 1/3 inch thick. Cut the dough into your desired shape(s) and transfer each cookie to your prepared baking sheet (parchment or silt pat) using a spatula.
The dough is delicate (i.e. sorta crumbly) but forgiving, so if it breaks, just patch it back together or start again. I kept rolling the scraps back into the next chunk of dough I grabbed from the fridge and the texture was still great (see, forgiving!). This dough also keeps it's shape really well while baking, so you can fit a lot of cookies on each sheet.
Once your oven is preheated, bake each sheet separately in the center of the oven for about 10-14 minutes - the edges will just begin to brown. Allow the cookies to firm up on the sheet for a few minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. This recipe holds up well both at room temp and after being frozen and thawed.
The icing I used for these cookies is based on the recipe for Glace Icing from the ladies at Casue Sweets. I reduced it a bit but the general proportions are very similar to theirs. First, I made a looser base icing that could be used to "flood" the cookies. I poured off about three cups worth of it and added additional sifted confectioner's sugar to create a thicker icing for piping.
Yield: I had enough for about 60 cookies with quite a bit leftover.
6 cups sifted confectioner's sugar (plus extra for thickening the icing for piping)
4 oz lukewarm water
1/8 teaspoon orange juice
4 oz light corn syrup
1 Tablespoon finely minced fresh Rosemary
Sift 6 cups on confectioner's sugar into a large bowl, or into the bowl of your stand mixer. Add the water and begin mixing on the lowest speed with your stand or electric hand mixer, then add the orange juice and corn syrup. Keep mixing until everything is fully incorporated and the icing is shiny. It should be viscous enough that it runs smoothly off a spoon but not so wet that it looks like it would just run off the edges of the cookies. Basically, it should spread easily but not be runny. If your icing is too thin, simply sift in more confectioner's sugar a few tablespoons at a time until it looks right. If it's too dry add more liquid a drop or two at a time.
Separate out about 3/4 of the mixture for your "flood" icing and add the finely minced rosemary to it, then pour it into a squeeze bottle or tupperware container with a tight fitting lid, be sure to cover it well to keep it from hardening.
To the remaining icing, and just mixing by hand now, add more sifted confectioner's sugar by the tablespoon until the consistency is thick enough that it's difficult to stir. If you lift you spoon up, the icing should fall very, very slowly (slow glop). You want it to be thick so it sets up right away and creates a boarder to keep the flood icing in check. See my previous post for photo examples and let me know how yours come out!