Carrot + Cardamom Shortbread

August 9, 2011
And just like that, its August. The markets are more bright, fresh, and tantalizing than any other time during the year and the afternoon sun is perfect for enjoying picnics on the patio with friends, glasses of wine, or magazines that have been itching to be read since early spring.
And, in San Francisco, for waking up slow, enjoying the morning fog, and settling in for a lazy afternoon if said fog decides not to skedaddle come afternoon. My guiltiest of pleasures on these occasions is to make tea, bake cookies, and curl up with movies/books/Gunner.
I originally made these carrot cardamom shortbread in the first weeks of spring with sweet carrots. Lovely. And, when I found a few little gem carrots again at the market the other day, I knew that they could be put to good use again – truly, this is a recipe for all seasons. Enjoy these shortbread in the winter and fall with warm drinks, and use as garnish for ice creams in the summer. 
Carrot + Cardamom Shortbread
  1. 1/4 cup semolina flour
  2. 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  3. 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  5. 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  6. 5 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
  7. 2/3 cup muscovado sugar
  8. 3 ounces carrot, grated (about 1/4 cups)
  9. zest of one lemon
  10. 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  11. milk (for brushing)
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir the carrot, scraped vanilla bean (pod aside) and lemon zest into the flour mixture, and mix until well coated and evenly dispersed. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until a dough forms, then knead a couple times to bring everything together. Split the dough in two, flatten each piece into an inch-thick patty, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least thirty minutes.
  2. When you're ready to bake the shortbread, roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface 1/2-inch thick/1cm. Use a metal cutters (I used a little carrot shaped one!) to stamp out cookies, then place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush lightly with a bit of milk and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies start to brown just a bit. Enjoy with your favorite tea or bits of chocolate.

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