Salted Lemon Shortbread
SWEET ENOUGH RECIPE CORRECTION
Welcome to A Newsletter! Thank you for being here. If you’ve found your way over by some miracle but are not yet subscribed, let me help you with that:
Well THAT was embarrassing!
For anyone just tuning in, the Salty Lemon Shortbread on page 181 of Sweet Enough recipe was MISPRINTED, INCORRECT, WRONG. Some have made it as-is and found it “interesting but good” which is a nice way of maybe saying “something is wrong here.” (If you tried it as-written in the book and enjoyed- then do not let me stop you from enjoying! Of course, butter plus sugar lemon and flour tastes great in many ratios and combinations!).
I don’t exactly know when or how this happened, but I do know it was almost certainly my fault. Through the sleepless nights, tireless recipe testing, endless copy editing…A HUMAN ERROR EMERGES.
Thank you to everyone who flagged it gently, followed up eagerly anticipating the new version, thrilled to get into some crisp-yet-tender, extremely addicting lemony shortbread. Perhaps this whole Salted Lemon Shortbread Mystery has brought us all closer together and for that— I am grateful (just kidding, I hate mistakes!).
Some things to note:
You may notice this recipe makes MORE cookies than the version printed. I have retraced my steps and this corrected version is the ORIGINAL recipe—please DISREGARD the old recipe. Do not compare/contrast, it won’t make sense, don’t even look at it.
This is a thicker, tender-style shortbread cookie (vs. the “perfect salted shortbread” which are thinner, more brittle. Know this going in, know it when they come out of the oven.
Please remember to dock the raw dough with a fork or tip of a knife— these little holes allow steam to escape, properly baking/browning the bottom of the cookie, as well as ensuring they are all evenly baked through.
What to do with your book now? Well, either make notes with a pen (that’s what I did for my friends), OR, print out the PDF below, lovingly recreated to match the interior of the book by fellow perfectionist Britt Cobb.
And while I have you, Talk Easy with Sam Fragoso is a great listen with any guest, any day of the week, but for anyone looking for MORE INTERVIEWS that GO DEEP with yours truly, our episode can be found below. He reads aloud from the book and, unrelated, tries to make me cry at least once.
And “Down Under,” Food for Everyone has made this DIVINE poster of the Raspberry Ricotta Cake with artist Gem Leslie to celebrate the launch of Sweet Enough in Australia (which I am VERY excited to visit next week).
Printed on 100% recycled coffee cups, one poster purchased provides 10 meals to people in need via food banks in Australia and these can be shipped WORLDWIDE, so no matter where you live— I would not hesitate!
SALTY LEMON SHORTBREAD
Just as I made sure to get anchovies into this book (see page 71), preserved lemons were bound to show up sooner or later. Sure, they are actually optional here (there’s plenty of salt and lemon in this recipe to justify the name even without their inclusion), but they really do produce a jammy, salty, floral bop of something spectacular when you bite into a piece of one while nibbling on this otherwise straightforward cookie. Don’t forget the sugar on top; the dough itself really isn’t sweet enough to carry the cookie without it, plus, the way the zest gets a little crisp and dried along with it…it’s a real chefs kiss.
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
¾ cup/165g plus ¼ cup/55g granulated sugar
Flaky sea salt
2 ½ sticks/10 ounces/283g unsalted butter, cold, cut into 1” pieces
1/4 cup/30g powdered sugar
½ preserved lemon, seeds removed, finely chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon/4g kosher salt
1 teaspoon/5g vanilla extract
2 ¼ cups/325g all-purpose flour
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13 baking dish or two 9” cake pans with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl, combine one-third of the grated zest, ¼ cup sugar and a good pinch of flaky salt. Use your fingers and rub the mixture together until the sugar is tinted yellow and smells deeply of lemon. Set aside.
3. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a medium bowl with an electric hand mixer, or, bowl of a food processor), beat the butter, powdered sugar, the remaining ¾ cup/165g granulated sugar, the remaining lemon zest, preserved lemon (if using), kosher salt and vanilla on medium-high till it’s super light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl and, with the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and beat just to blend.
4. Pat the dough into the prepared pan, using your palm or the bottom of a measuring cup to flatten to the best of your ability. Using the tines of a fork, dot the top of the shortbread dough. Sprinkle the top with the lemon-rubbed sugar, pressing it into the raw dough.
5. Bake until the top, bottom and edges are all nicely browned and the dough is set and firm to touch (but still slightly malleable), 30–35 minutes for the 9 × 13 pan, closer to 20–25 minutes for the 9-inch cake pans.
6 Let cool slightly before lifting up the parchment and removing the cookie from the pan. Using a knife, cut into 1 × 3-inch bars, or, if using round pans, 1–1 1⁄2-inch wedges.
7. Let cool completely before eating them all (these are better at room temperature or even the next day, I promise).
EAT WITH: a bunch of juicy grapes at a very lovely picnic.
DO AHEAD: Cookie dough can be made 5 days ahead, tightly wrapped and refrigerated (or 1 month ahead, tightly wrapped and frozen). Cookies can be baked 5 days ahead, wrapped and stored at room temperature.