Sunday, April 24, 2011

orange blossom sugar cookies

Did you ever watch Pippi? I watched those movies over and over and over again when I was a kid (on beta, because I'm old). If you did, I dare you to watch them again. I watched the first one about two years ago and I was shocked at just how awesome and surreal it was. There were many laughs. Pippi kind of blew my mind! 

The reason I mention Pippi is because I'm reminded of her every time I bake cookies that require a rolling pin and cookie cutters. Incidentally, like Pippi, the cookie cutters I used (aside from the bunny) are of Swedish origin - they come from Ikea - so I'd like to personally thank Sweden for inspiring a fun afternoon of baking!

These cookies are lovely and buttery. They melt in your mouth. Honestly, I couldn't taste the orange blossom water after baking, so don't bother with it unless you already have some in the house, or want to try amp it up to 3 tsp or something (however, this I have not tested). Orange blossom is lovely, so the next time I bake these cookies, I will definitely be giving that a shot (and updating my recipe). Orange blossom water might be a little tough to find, but it is available. I found mine at Atwater Market.

Update: I recently made a batch of shortbread cookies half the size of the recipe below that required 3 tablespoons of orange blossom water to be fragrant after baking. I don't know if my orange blossom water is poor quality (I would hope not, I paid an arm and a leg for it) or if that's just normal. Just add a little more than you think is appropriate, because you'll be surprised at how much the scent bakes off!

orange blossom sugar cookies
Adapted from Another Cup of Sugar by Anna Olson

1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp orange blossom water (definitely increase this - see my note above)
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add egg, vanilla and orange blossom water.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine (I find that it is easiest to use my hands for this). Form the dough into 2 disks, wrap tightly with cellophane, and chill for at least 2 hours.

When your dough is well chilled, preheat the oven to 350ºF and line one or two baking sheets with parchment paper. On a floured surface, roll out your dough 1 disk at a time, to a thickness of 5mm (or 1/4 inch). Cut your cookies, place them on your baking sheets, and bake for 8-10 minutes per batch.

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