Summer is such a challenge for me, I have so much more time to bake, but the summer weather makes it too warm to bake in the house. PBS plays the British Baking Show, so I am inspired to bake but I just can’t. I guess I have been lucky enough this summer that we’re already 2/3 of the way through July and so far I have been able to bake at least once a week.
Mid-July is also strange in that Hallmark Christmas ornaments debut and I start thinking about hot chocolate and snowmen. It’s way too early to think about Christmas, but it’s fun to look at the new ornaments for the year. Many years ago, I worked at Hallmark and I would always enjoy when the ornaments came out but was really tired of looking at them by the actual holiday season.
These cookies are good to make when your house is warm, as you can make the dough one day and then slice and bake the cookies very quickly. In my case I baked them up in the morning before the day got too hot. The cornmeal gives a slightly crunchy texture, try to use a finely ground cornmeal. You could also use ground almonds. I had a container of finely chopped mixed candied peel, which I had picked up at the local European deli. Don’t use giant candied fruit, that just wouldn’t work here. I was thinking of these cookies as summery, because of the citrus, but they do have a bit of a Christmas cookie feel to them.
Candied Citrus Shortbread
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon orange zest
2 cups flour
¼ cup yellow cornmeal
¼ teaspoon salt
2/3cup chopped candied peel/fruit
In large mixer bowl, beat the butter, powdered sugar, and orange zest on medium until light. With the mixer on low, gradually add the flour, cornmeal, and salt. Stir in the candied fruit.
Divide the dough into two halves. Shape each half into an 8-inch log. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats.
Slice the dough into 1/3” slices and place on the baking sheets.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until set and slightly browned on the bottom. Cool completely on wire racks.
Recipe from Betty Crocker