Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Pink Peppercorn Shortbread

I first encountered pink peppercorns in a beautiful steak tartare, which was so sublime that  I was determined to recreate it at home.  I went to Waitrose and bought myself an expensive little jar of pink peppercorn and it hid in my cupboard for about 8 months until I finally used it the other day for these shortbread.  I have so much in my cupboard that I just forget what's there.  I suppose this is how normal girls feel about their closets.  Speaking of buying things at Waitrose, you know how a myWaitrose card gets you free coffee everyday?  It's life-changing if you don't.  I can't get over what a genius concept it is, I just want to give a standing ovation to the Waitrose marketing team.  Coffee costs them nothing, but now you get people going in for their free coffee and buying all their groceries there.  Since I'm here, might as well get my cleaning products, might as well get my 5-a-day's, mght as well get myself a jar of pink peppercorn that they've so nicely packaged up --  simply genius

 So about these pink peppercorns: pink peppercorn actually belong to the cashew family but they're only called such because they resemble peppercorns have indeed have a peppery taste.  They're actually the dried berries of the Brazilian pepper tree.  They're lighter in flavor and much prettier.   They're usually paired with seafood, but like I said, I've had them in a steak tartare and Bon Appetit has this intriguing pink peppercorn bacon recipe
I decided to put them in something sweet because it was Valentine's Day and I needed to make something pink.  It gives an exciting kick to your otherwise boring shortbread, I love it, and it's just so pretty.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit
1 cup/2 sticks/226 g cold butter, cubed
1/2 cup/100g caster sugar
1/4 cup/ 31g icing sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup/312 g flour
1 1/2 tsp pink peppercorns

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. 

Put the cold butter in a bowl along with the two sugars and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (may take up to 10 min).

Turn the heat down to low and add the flour, salt, 1/4 tsp of pink peppercorn and mix until just combined.

Press the mixture into two 8" diameter cake tins, or in a large rectangle cake tin.  Lightly crush the remaining pink peppercorn in a pestle and morter and sprinkle over the dough.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until golden.  Cut into strips when cool.


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