Monday recipe : Black pepper shortbread with balsamic strawberry jam

Monday, December 23, 2013


Hello friends, for those who celebrate Christmas, I hope you are coping well with the Christmas preparation. My weekend was busy with shopping and wrapping Christmas presents and also baking more cookies. It was tiring but enjoyable. 

I am taking a few days off in between public holiday to spend time with my friend who flies from Indonesia and stays with us duringt Christmas. I also want to spend more quality time with my family during the holiday. We did not plan to go anywhere, we will attend Christmas service in our church and then the rest of the holiday will be in town. Most probably will cook and have few gathering with close friends and family. 

I am not a fans of sweet cookies nor I am not a person who like to eat tidbits/snacks. However, I  kinda like shortbread. I used to buy the ready-made one from grocery shelves, then I tried to bake my self, some recipes was out of my liking until I found this black pepper shortbread recipe. I really love the taste combination of peppery shortbread and sweetness balsamic- strawberry jam. It form a very  authentic taste. I baked few round and shared with my friends and family, they are all like it, so I thought of sharing this winning recipes in my blog. I don't own the recipe but it's certainly worth to try, in fact it is super easy recipe, if you plan for a last minutes baking for Christmas, you can try this one :).  

Merry Christmas.... 

Recipe (adapted from here):

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cups confection sugar (icing sugar)
226 gr (2 sticks) unsalted butter*
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon black pepper, coarsely ground**
1/2 cup strawberry jam***
Balsamic vinegar according to your taste

1. Preheat oven to 170C
2. Line baking sheet with non stick parchment paper
3. Whisk together the dry ingredients - flour, salt, black pepper.
4. Cream sugar and butter until fluffy, then fold together the dry ingredient until form a dough.
5. Wrap dough with the cling wrap.
6. Chill dough in the fridge for an hour or till firm and easy to roll.
7. Roll dough into 1inch ball, place in the baking sheet.
8. Make an indentation in each cookies.
9. Bake for 18 minutes, turning sheet at the 9 minutes mark, bakes until lightly golden at edges.
10. Put in the cooling rack before stored.

You can keep the cookies in the airtight container, eat as it is and will give you a savory-peppery taste, or:

Mixed strawberry jam with balsamic vinegar until smooth. I suggest you taste accordingly, if you like the taste to be a little bit sourish then put the vinegar more. If the texture of the starwberry jam is too thick you can heat the jam in the medium heat then add vinegar. Cool the mixture before adding to cookies. Eat immediataly.

My note:
* Shortbread is a butter based cookies, so try to use a good quality of butter. It does make a different.
** I use Sarawak black pepper that I believe it has stronger peppery taste, however the original recipe doesn't mention about a specific brand. 
*** Avoid to buy artificial strawberry jam. I would suggest to buy a good and pure strawberry jam/preserved if you do not intent to make your own strawberry jam.  

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