Blood Orange Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

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I think blood oranges are gorgeous even though they have an intimidating word “blood” to describe its distinct color. I don’t know who thought their vibrant color reminded of blood! I think it has a tone of ruby red like beautiful ripe raspberries, so maybe they should be called ruby red oranges rather than blood oranges. 

Despite their bloody name, blood oranges are one of my favorite citrus fruits. They are in season until the end of March, so it should be easy to find them everywhere nowadays.

Their tart, slightly sweeter than regular oranges, flavors add gentle acidity to many dishes. I often replace any recipes that call for lemon with blood orange to use it in my daily cooking. I use them everywhere from making a vinaigrette for spring salad to slow-roasting salmon. My absolute favorite way to enjoy them is by making flaky shortbread cookies!

My blood orange rosemary shortbread is a perfect treat to enjoy its sweet and tart flavor. Rosemary brings out savory flavors, letting blood orange flavor shine. You use zest and juice in both batter and glaze, enjoying every bit of blood orange! It’s flaky, sweet and buttery, and most importantly it’s gorgeous with its ruby red, slightly pinkish color, not blood!!

Prep time: 10 minutes l  Cook Time: 15 minutes l Total Time: 2.5 hours l Serving: 20 pieces

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE SHORTBREAD COOKIE BATTER

  • 2 cups of AP (All-Purpose) Flour
  • 2/3 cup of sugar
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp of salt
  • Zest of 1 blood orange
  • 1 tsp of freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 4 tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 7g (approximately 2-3 branches) of rosemary, chopped
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) of cold salted butter (or unsalted butter, but I think using salted butter brings pine-y, rosemary flavors more), chopped in cubes

FOR BLOOD ORANGE GLAZE

  • 1 tbsp and 1 tsp of freshly squeezed blood orange juice
  • 5 tbsp of powdered sugar

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT

  • Food Processor (8-cup) *You can still make these cookies if you don't have a food processor by using either standard mixer or pastry cutter or even by hands, but I find using food processor makes not only makes process easy, but also make flaky texture at the end!*

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F.

 
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2. Add all ingredients for the batter in the food processor. Make sure the butter is chill.

 
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3. Pulse the food processor several times until the dough barely comes together. Do not over-process the dough. It should look and feel like a clay dough. 

 
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4. When the dough comes together, divide the dough in half. Place each half on a long piece of plastic wrap. Fold plastic over to cover the dough and protect your hands from getting sticky. Using your hands, shape the dough into a log shape. Roll it on the counter back and forth. Make sure you gently massage the dough so that the log doesn't have any holes or gap in the middle. Each half should form logs that are around 2" in diameter. Chill until firm, about 2 hours. (This log-rolling method comes from Alison Roman's viral salted butter and chocolate chunk shortbread cookie recipe. If you haven't tried her cookie, make it ASAP. Definitely worth the hype!)

5. After the log is chilled, it should be firm. Slice each log into 1/2''-thick rounds. Put sliced rounds on prepared parchment-lined baking sheet about 1'' apart. Bake them until edges are just beginning to brown for 15-17 minutes. Check them after 13 minutes and then add a few minutes if necessary. Let them cool slightly to glaze. 

6. Make the glaze by whisk the blood orange juice and powdered sugar while the cookies are baking. Set aside.

 
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7. Dip each cookie into the glaze, not too deep but just on the surface, and set them on a baking rack so that glaze drips around the edges of the cookies. Let it dry for 5 minutes until it's set. Sprinkle more zest of blood orange (optional). 

8. Now, EAT YOU FEELINGS!