Jan 20, 2015

Classic Shortbread with Fleur de Sel

Classic Shortbread with Fleur de Sel

This Classic Shortbread is crispy, crumbly, sandy, and melt-in-your-mouth all at the same time. With the little bursts of fleur de sel flavor, they are incredibly difficult to resist.

Fleur de sel, a wonderful finishing salt that is hand harvested, brings back memories of a trip to Provence we took about 14 years ago. My dad had rented a farmhouse in Bonnieux for several weeks, and we got to stay for one of the weeks. We spent the week visiting many of the open air markets in the different towns throughout the region. It was truly an amazing vacation.

One of the few things I brought back from that trip was a little container of fleur de sel, which I have used sparingly as a finishing salt, mostly on chocolate and caramel. This little container brings back wonderful memories from the trip, and of my dad (although I did have several white knuckle moments as he drove us from market to market on the French roads).

Classic Shortbread with Fleur de Sel

I've since purchased a large container of this wonderful salt, which I use to refill this original container.

Today, the #CreativeCookieExchange is making cookies with the theme, Make Someone's Day!

Classic Shortbread with Fleur de Sel

I made a batch of these cookies for someone special to me who loves shortbread even more than chocolate chip cookies! I could tell by the smile on her face that these made her happy. I also am sharing some with my grandkids, who always get excited when I make them a treat. Cookies from grandma usually makes their day.

Classic Shortbread with Fleur de Sel

I made the dough for these cookies in the evening, and then cut and baked them the next day. Easy peasy.

Classic Shortbread with Fleur de Sel

After the recipe, check out all of the Make Someone's Day links for wonderful cookie recipes.  Make someone's day!

Classic Shortbread with Fleur de Sel Recipe

Ingredients

1 pound unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes. The butter should be cool.
1 C confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 1/2 C all purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons if necessary
1/2 C white rice flour
2 large egg yolks
Fleur de sel for sprinkling (you could use sanding sugar instead of the salt, or just leave them plain)

Instructions

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter on high with the paddle attachment until smooth.
  2. Add the sugar and salt, and beat for a minute or two, until incorporated.
  3. Whisk the two flours together, and add the mixture in two additions. Mix on low until just mixed in. 
  4. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and mix until just incorporated. If the dough is too wet, add the additional flour.
  5. Briefly knead the dough on the counter until everything is fully blended. Do not over mix. 
  6. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, flatten them into round disks that are just slightly less than 1/2 inch thick. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour to 24 hours. 
  7. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line two baking sheets with parchment. 
  8. Remove one disk at a time from the refrigerator, sprinkle lightly with the sea salt, cut into six wedges, and pierce each wedge with a fork. 
  9. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 17 to 22 minutes, until the cookies just begin to brown on the edges. 
  10. Cool the pans on a wire rack for 10 minute. Move the cookies to a wire rack and continue to cool. 
  11. Keep in an airtight container up to five days. 
Recipe slightly adapted from the wonderful book Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito




The theme this month is Make Someone’s Day Cookies! We chose someone in our lives that we loved and baked them cookies that they love! Maybe you will feel inspired to bake someone that you love a cookie! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links. You can also just use us as a great resource for cookie recipes--be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! Also, if you are looking for inspiration to get in the kitchen and start baking, check out what all of the hosting bloggers have made:

36 comments:

  1. You would totally make my day if you would pack up that stack of cookies and send them to me. I know they would ship nicely...

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Renee! Sadly, they're in peoples' tummies. =)

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  2. Yum! SHortbread is one of my favorites and adding fleur de sel? Delish!

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  3. I bought some fleur de sel recently and have just looked at it admiringly on the shelf without baking with it yet-- now I know what to do with it, this shortbread is right up my alley!

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    1. I've even sprinkled it on chocolate chip cookies!

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  4. These are amazing looking, perfect shortbread!

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  5. That sprinkling of salt MAKES a buttery shortbread, in my opinion, Karen. I have a collection of salts and should use them more often. Thank for the inspiration!

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    1. I can't wait to see your inspirations!

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  6. I liked this idea of yours. Making the dough at 1 time, and baking them at another time... Makes the work so easy... Lovely cookies...

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  7. Thank you for the inspiration. I have a little box of Fleur de sel and though I use it on Caramels, I havent used them on cookies yet. Beautiful, Buttery cookies.

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    Replies
    1. We treasure our little boxes of fleur de sel don't we!

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  8. Très bien, Karen! What beautiful memories of France with your father...And what beautiful cookies! Thanks for sharing this inspiring classic =)

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  9. Loving everything about this post! I love the treasured container (I want my dad to rent a farmhouse in France!), I love the salty sweet and I love the shortbread. Yum!

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    1. Thanks Laura. I miss him so much. He got the travel bug late in life and loved spending time in France and Italy. My regret is not taking him up the Tuscany trip.

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  10. I'm a sweet and salty kind of girl. These cookies sound fantastic and that container is gorgeous. I love holding on to little things that remind me of my times with loved ones.

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  11. Fleur de Sel... I love everything about it, from the way the name rolls off of my tongue and makes me sound all cultural to the way it tastes on my palate. These cookies look perfect!

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  12. Karen these look delicious! I've never tried making shortbread, although I've always wanted to. Your trip to France sounds amazing. I'd love to do that too. You've sold me on trying to find some French Fleur de Sel! :)

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  13. Shortbread really is one of those amazingly decadent, simple cookies

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  14. Shortbread is one of mine and my sister's favorite cookies. It's amazing what a little finishing salt can do. I have yet to try it out on sweets. Our daughter sprinkled it on the chocolate treats she made us for Christmas, it was so good.

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    Replies
    1. A friend gave me some chocolate chip cookies sprinkled with sea salt. Amazing!

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  15. I need to get my hands on some of that salt!

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  16. Ooooh, I love shortbread cookies, and these are perfect with the salt! Perfect, simple little cookies after the holidays :-)

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  17. Shortbread is a weakness of mine, and a little sprinkling of salt makes all the difference, to be sure!

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  18. Recently I found out yhat I like shortbread type cookies even more than "regular" types.

    your version with the salt is pure elegance!

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  19. Shortbread with fleur de sel, yes please! They look utterly delicious!

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  20. that salt is a gem to treasure, for sure

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