Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lemon and Thyme Shortbread Cookies.

I like neighborhood shops, of all kinds. They are more friendly and have this extra human interaction that you just don't get in large supermarkets. Down in my building, there's a shop that saw many businesses come and go in the past few years. Last winter, I couldn't be happier to see that this place is now a flower shop. As I go to work and come back home I am greeted with various beautiful shapes and colors and not to mention the familiar and exotic scents.
I often stop by to check out the latest arrivals and last week a small plant with the cutest small purple flowers caught my attention. It was a thyme plant with a fantastic aroma; I bought it immediately.

As I got home I started thinking of the many recipes that one could make with thyme. I went with one that would also feature the fresh lemons that I got from Valencia and it is this recipe that I am sharing with you. Both lemons and thyme capture the essence of Mediterranean summers and having both ingredients in one recipe is just what I needed to cope with the hot days Madrid has been experiencing lately. There are many recipes of shortbread out there and almost all are pretty easy and straightforward. Like many basic doughs, shortbread dough is flexible enough and can absorb as many flavors as your heart desires and this is what I did with the lemons and thyme I had!

To make around 8 to 10 round shortbread cookies flavored with thyme and lemon you need:
  • 120 g white flour
  • 25 g potato flour (you can use rice flour or cornflour instead)
  • 50 g sugar
  • 100 g butter (room temperature)
  • zest of a small lemon
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp of chopped thyme leaves
  • dash of salt
Cream the butter with the sugar. When well combined, add the lemon zest, the thyme, the salt and mix again. Finally add the flour and mix well with the butter mixture. 
Wrap the dough in plastic and leave it in the fridge for at least an hour or overnight as I did.
You can shape the cookies as you like. What I did is to flatten the dough until about 1 cm thick and then used a 6 cm round cutter to cut out the dough.

After shaping you need to refrigerate the cookies for half an hour. Bake the cookies in a preheated oven (170 C) for 10 to 15 min. The baking time depends on the shape of the cookies and your oven. The rule of thumb is that you don't want to cook the shortbread for too long. You just need  the cookies to acquire a light golden color.

The cookies are delicious as they are, but if you want you can add a bit of lemon icing for an extra  touch. The icing is made by simply mixing some powdered sugar with lemon juice. You add just enough lemon juice to have the pouring consistency you like.

Decorate, serve and enjoy!

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