Christmas Cookies 2021
Orange and Saffron Shortbread stars.
Recipe by Ottolenghi published in The Guardian.
These are a very sophisticated cookie and totally worth the time to seek out the ingredients and to create.
Orange and Saffron Shortbread Stars
- 360 grams Italian '00" Flour, plus more to dust
- 70 grams White Rice Flour
- 165 grams Sugar
- 1/8 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Star Anise - Ground
- 1 tsp Salt
- Grated Zest of 1 Large Orange
- Vanilla Seeds scraped from 1/2 of a Vanilla Bean Pod
- 250 gram Butter - Fridge Cold - 82% Fat if you can find it
- 1 Large Egg - Slightly Beaten
- 40 grams Pistachios - Chopped
- 1/3 tsp Saffron Threads
- 1 tbsp Water
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 190 grams Icing/Confectioners Sugar - Sifted
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tbsp Water
- 1/4 tsp Orange Blossom Water
- Sift the flour, rice flour, sugar, baking powder and star anise into the bowl of a mixer. Add salt, orange zest and vanilla seeds. Mix to combine. Cut butter into cubes and add to the flour mixture , toss to coat. Using the paddle on your mixer, mix on low until the mix is the consistency of bread crumbs.
- Add the egg and mix until the dough just comes together.
- Dump the dough onto the counter and shape into a rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour. If you chill the dough for more than an hour you will need to let it sit a room temperature of up to 30 minutes.
- The dough will need to be malleable but not soft. Use your rolling pin to give the dough a few bashes if is not malleable enough. Too cold and it will crack when rolling.
- Heat oven to 325°.
- Cut the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll outdone half to about .5 cm (1/4 inch) thick. Using a star cutter, cut stars out and transfer to a parchment lined baking tray. Cookies should be about 1 cm apart. They won't spread much.
- Repeat with the second half of the dough. Press together the remains scraps and re-roll and and cut again. Repeating until all of the dough is used.
- Bake for 15-16 minutes. Rotate a necessary. Bake until the edges are lightly golden and the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.
- Put the saffron, water and sugar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir for 30 - 60 seconds untie the mixture goes syrupy, then take off the heat.
- Whisk all of the icing ingredients in a bowl until smooth and the consistency of this but spreadable honey. If the icing is too thick add little water.
- Use a teaspoon to to spread icing on the stars, then return to the rack. Dab each star with a drop of syrup and swirl through the icing and the sprinkling with pistachios. Leave to set and the store in a sealed container.
- full disclosure here, I forgot to mix in the sugar. I added it and the recipe worked out just fine
- you may wish to double the icing and dip your cookies rather than spreading it on, its easier
- re-rolling the dough was easy and the results looked and tasted like the first rolling