Pink Peppercorn Shortbread
A spicy spin on classic shortbread, this exquisite little cookie is perfect for birthdays, showers, tea parties, Mother’s Day and more. To preserve the pink hue, crush the pink peppercorns with the bottom of a pan.
Yields 30 cookies.
- 3 sticks or 1 ½ cups sweet unsalted butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup pink peppercorns, lightly crushed (do not use a spice grinder)
- Crystal sugar (clear decorating sugar)
- In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment soften butter on low speed. Add the sugar and mix on medium speed until pale.
- Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds with a small knife. Add vanilla seeds and extract to the butter and mix well.
- Mix salt and flour together, then add to butter on low speed gradually until all the flour is incorporated. Mix in the crushed peppercorns until thoroughly distributed on low speed.
- Scrape the dough onto your work surface. Press the dough into a 1 inch thick square. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate the dough for 3 hours or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Remove dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Allow the dough to soften for 5 minutes before attempting to roll out the cookie dough. It is helpful to bash the dough with a rolling pin to help soften the dough particularly if you have had it in the refrigerator overnight.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut the cookies into 2 ¾ inch squares. Place cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking tray ½ inch apart. You can re-roll the cookie dough twice.
- Chill the cookies for at least 20 minutes. Remove cookies from the refrigerator and sprinkle each lightly with crystal sugar. Place the cookie tray on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes rotating the tray midway.
- Cookies should be light golden brown around the edges. Remove cookies to a cooling rack.
You don't have to be a master baker like Metropolitan's James Barrett to make delicious French-inspired delights at home. Here are several favorites—some savory, some sweet—adapted by James for the home chef.