Shortbread Cookie Spoons (Spookies)

You know how sometimes everything just comes together at the right time? Those moments where inspiration strikes at the same time that you have all the supplies to make it happen? This is one of those moments.

I had just made some velvety, luscious chocolate custard and one of my friends started talking about the world’s best shortbread cookies that she just made. I wished aloud that I had a couple of her cookies to dunk in my custard and asked for the recipe.

Lightbulb.

I was going to make cookies that were spoons and eat my custard with them. Were they cookies? Were they spoons? Yes, they were both; they were Spookies*.

*Like a spork, but much more delicious.

I imagined them wrapped up in cellophane and a bow as the prettiest cookie at the bake sale, bagged up with a gift tag as a hostess gift, then the dipping and dunking vistas opened up before me;  Spookies dunked in custard (as I served them), Spanish Style Hot Chocolate, coffee, hot cocoa, pudding… What couldn’t Spookies do?

I messed with my friend’s recipe ever so slightly, substituting orange zest for lemon zest out of necessity and  rice flour for half of the all-purpose flour in her recipe. Why? Well, the best shortbread cookie I have ever had in my entire life came from an elderly Scottish woman who told me she the secret to truly wonderful shortbread was to use half all-purpose flour and half rice flour.  She said as long as you used real butter and the flour blend, everything else would fall into place.

Every shortbread I’ve made since has incorporated her trick. To test her (now our) theory, I did a side-by-side comparison on my friend’s recipe. I made a batch using all-purpose flour and one using the blend of all-purpose and rice flour. They were both outstanding, but the one made with rice flour was slightly more delicate in crumb and flavor.  The verdict: Half the crew here was in the rice flour camp and half was in the all all-purpose camp but everyone agreed that they would eat either without hesitation. If you can lay your hands on a bag of rice flour, I encourage you to make it as written below. If you can’t, substitute another cup (4 1/4 ounces, by weight) of all-purpose flour for the rice flour. It’ll still be delicious!

Note: To the best of my knowledge, there aren’t any spoon shaped cookie cutters in the world. I did the next best thing. I used brute force and a pair of pliers to bend an old bell-shaped medium-sized (2″) cookie cutter into a spoon-ish shaped cutter. It was a bit wonky, but effective and efficient. If you’d prefer, you can trace a tablespoon sized measuring spoon on cardboard and cut that out to use as a template.  I found it much simpler to bend the tar out of a cookie cutter and use it than to cut around a cardboard template repeatedly, but do as the whimsy moves you!

Shortbread Cookie Spoons

Gently adapted from Krysta, Evil Chef Mom.

Scroll to the bottom for an easy-print version of this recipe!

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces, by weight) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, cut 1/2-inch pats.
  • 1/2 cup superfine sugar (Can be made by placing granulated sugar in a blender on HIGH for about twenty seconds.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of 1/2 an orange
  • 1 cup (4 1/4 ounces, by weight) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (5 ounces, by weight) white rice flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup Bourbon and Vanilla Infused Sugar (preferably Bourbon infused) or granulated sugar

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and set aside.

Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachment  and beat butter on medium high until butter is totally smooth, about 1 minute. Change mixer speed to low, and with it running, gradually add the superfine sugar, then the vanilla, orange zest and salt, and continue mixing until it lightens in color. Turn mixer off, add about 1/3 of the flour blend. Turn mixer onto low and incorporate all the flour. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides and add another third of the flour blend.  Again, mix on low until incorporated, then turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides and add and blend in the final installment of flour. Continue mixing on low until the dough forms a fairly cohesive mass.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead four times, or until smooth. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Gently roll the dough out to an even thickness between 1/4- and 1/3- of an inch.

Line two cookie sheets with silpats or parchment paper and place to the side.

Use your spoon cookie cutter (or trace around the edge of our template with a sharp paring knife) and carefully transfer the shapes to the lined cookie sheets, placing them 1-inch apart.  Collect the scrap dough, gently push it back together and roll out, cutting more cookies. Continue gathering scraps, re-rolling the dough, and cutting until all the dough has been used.

Place the cookie sheets in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F with racks positioned in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. When hot, place one cookie sheet on each rack. Cook,rotating the trays from front to back and top to bottom after 7 minutes, for a total time of 15 minutes or just until they become golden brown around the edges. Remove the trays from the oven and immediately sprinkle the raw sugar over the hot cookies. Cool the cookies completely on the pans.

 

Store in an airtight container at room temperature. These cookies just improve with age.

…Want your own bourbon and vanilla infused sugar? That’s coming your way tomorrow! I guarantee you want this recipe. Think of it stirred into coffee, tea, sprinkled over cookies, etc… I thought so. See you tomorrow!

 

Shortbread Cookie Spoons (Spookies)
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Cookie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
These lightly orange-scented, spoon shaped shortbread cookies turn the ultimate cookie into the ultimate dipper. Dunk in hot chocolate, coffee, tea, or milk. Don't stop there, though. Try them in pudding, custard, and ice cream!
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces, by weight) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, cut ½-inch pats.
  • ½ cup superfine sugar (Can be made by placing granulated sugar in a blender on HIGH for about twenty seconds.)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest of ½ an orange
  • 1 cup (4¼ ounces, by weight) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (5 ounces, by weight) white rice flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup raw sugar (preferably Bourbon infused) or granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flours and set aside. Trace a measuring spoon (tablespoon size) onto cardboard and cut out to use as a template or bend a medium-sized metal cookie cutter into a spoon shape. (Of course, if you happen to have a spoon sized cookie cutter that will work!)
  2. Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat butter on medium high until butter is totally smooth, about 1 minute. Change mixer speed to low, and with it running, gradually add the superfine sugar, then the vanilla, orange zest and salt, and continue mixing until it lightens in color. Turn mixer off, add about ⅓ of the flour blend. Turn mixer onto low and incorporate all the flour. Turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides and add another third of the flour blend. Again, mix on low until incorporated, then turn off the mixer, scrape down the sides and add and blend in the final installment of flour. Continue mixing on low until the dough forms a fairly cohesive mass.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead four times, or until smooth. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Gently roll the dough out to an even thickness between ¼- and ⅓- of an inch.
  4. Line two cookie sheets with silpats or parchment paper and place to the side.
  5. Use your spoon cookie cutter (or trace around the edge of our template with a sharp paring knife) and carefully transfer the shapes to the lined cookie sheets, placing them 1-inch apart. Collect the scrap dough, gently push it back together and roll out, cutting more cookies. Continue gathering scraps, re-rolling the dough, and cutting until all the dough has been used. Place the cookie sheets in the refrigerator to chill for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F with racks positioned in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. When hot, place one cookie sheet on each rack. Cook,rotating the trays from front to back and top to bottom after 7 minutes, for a total time of 15 minutes or just until they become golden brown around the edges. Remove the trays from the oven and immediately sprinkle the remaining sugar over the hot cookies. Cool the cookies completely on the pans.
  7. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. These cookies just improve with age.

Comments

  1. Adele Aiken says

    Do you have any idea how many “spoons” your recipe makes?? I do have spoon shaped cookie cutter – got it on the web. It’s about 4 inch long. If you want one just do a search for spoon shaped cookie cutters.

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