Skip to main content

Frosted Pink Peppercorn Shortbread


I still don't remember what prompted me to make these cookies. I had been staring at a jar of pink peppercorns. Maybe. But I was in charge of all the sweets for our fundraising dinner and decided to make some pink peppercorn shortbread cookies. Then, because I thought people might find them too savory, I added a dollop of beet-dyed pink frosting. Little did I know that these would be the surprise hit of the nine treats I made. I never even got one; but I'll take my husband's word for it that these were good. And you'll probably seeing these in heart-shape for upcoming Valentines' Day!


Also, I scented these with Aquavit which, despite how long Scandinavians have been making and drinking aquavit, it's largely unknown outside of those countries. It's such a shame because, as a spirit, it's completely beguiling.

The name 'aquavit' derives from two Latin words: aqua vitae and translates to "water of life." The French have a clear brandy eau de vie which means the same thing, but has a very different flavor. I've had more fruit based eau de vie while aquavit is decidedly more spicy. Aquavit has many different recipes and flavor profiles between brands, but the dominant flavor is caraway seeds. This one, from Krogstad, has a strong star anise flavor that I love! It is brilliantly clear with spicy notes and aromas that are smooth and seductive. If you can't find aquavit, feel free to substitute with vodka, gin, or any other clear alcohol; you can also use vanilla extract though that will lend a sweeter note to the cookie.

Ingredients makes approximately 3 dozen 2-1/2" cookies

Shortbread
  • 20 T butter (l-1/4 C or 2-1/2 sticks)
  • 1 C organic granulated sugar
  • 1 T aquavit
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 3-1/2 C flour
  • 1 t pink peppercorns, crushed or ground in a spice mill


Frosting and Finishing
  • 3 egg whites, or more to thin icing
  • 6 C organic powdered sugar, or more to thicken icing 
  • juice from 1 to 2 organic lemons
  • natural food coloring (the red I used was made with beets), optional
  • pink peppercorns for garnish

Procedure

Shortbread
Beat the butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in aquavit until well combined. Beat in the egg. Add in the flour and ground peppercorns and mix until everything is moistened.

Roll the dough into a long cylinder. Put the dough in plastic wrap or parchment paper and chill for about an hour, until the dough is firm enough to slice.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough cylinder widthwise into 1/4" slices and place, slightly apart, on the baking sheets. Place in the oven and bake for 16 to 18 minutes until slightly browned. 

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Frosting
Beat the whites until stiff but not dry. Add sugar and lemon juice. Beat for another minute. If the icing is too thick, add more egg whites; if it's too thin, add more sugar. Beat in the food coloring, if using. This icing may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.


To Finish
Spoon the royal icing over cooled cookies and push to the edge as much as possible. Crush one pink peppercorn over each cookie. Let icing set before storing or serving.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce

#comfortfood: Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco with Bean Ragout

As one of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution Day Ambassadors ( I'm the Monterey #FRD2014 rep! ) I will be sent a copy of his latest cookbook - to cook from and write about. I can't wait. I do have to laugh though, because its title is  Comfort Food . And, according to a good friend:  I only make uncomfortable food . Oh, well. I can learn! To celebrate launch day - today - I'm sharing one of the recipes. Here's Jamie Oliver's Ossobuco alla Milanese recipe from his new cookbook, Comfort Food. And here's my adaptation. I typically don't eat veal, so I went to our local butcher for some lamb shanks sliced into an osso buco-style cut; but they had just sold their last shanks. Darn. But then I noticed the "never tethered...free to roam" on the veal package and decided to go for it. I added in shelling beans to make a ragout and served it over wild rice instead of risotto. Also, I used lots of different herbs in my gremolata instead of just pa