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!
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
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!)
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.
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.
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 remaining 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.
Recipe by Foodie With Family at http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/2011/03/28/shortbread-cookie-spoons-spookies/