Someone takes their shirt off this week (it's not me)
there is also salty lemon shortbread, the most cursed recipe on the internet
Hello and welcome to Home Movies Tuesday! If you’ve found your way over by some miracle but are not yet subscribed, here, let me help you with that:
Hey hi hello, it’s me again, with a video and the images and all the things that were supposed to be in the last newsletter. Petition to rebrand “Mercury in Retrograde” as “Salty Lemon Shortbread,” as no recipe in the history of my recipe making life has ever caused me so much technological agita from simply trying to publish it. Officially a comedy of errors, I am choosing to LAUGH (in addition to CRY, which I really did do on the streets of New York City this afternoon- wasn’t my first time and won’t be the last!) because I am human and that shows HUMILITY. BYE!
In my last cookbook, Sweet Enough, MISTAKES WERE MADE. Specifically, in the Salted Lemon Shortbread recipe. The ingredient measurements are wrong, and I’m sorry! I caught the mistake about a week after the book came out, which was not exactly AWESOME timing, but alas. I wrote about it here (complete with printable PDF to tape inside your copy of Sweet Enough 🤓).
TLDR; this Salty Lemon Shortbread deserves your love and attention, please use this correct version for the correct cookie. We are grateful for the gift of second chances in the form of “YouTube tutorials”.
Joining me in my baking adventure is my “friend”/sometimes trainer, Bobby. Bobby is going to take his shirt off and parade around and pretend lemons are weights and do all sorts of theatrical things to let you know he is fit and likes to have a good time, and while I’d probably think he was just doing all this for the cameras, I begrudgingly admit he is just like this in real life and really is fit and loves to have a good time. He makes working out fun, and if it’s not fun I won’t do it. And that there, is the story of us.
Extra special thank you to Maker’s Mark for sponsoring this week’s episode! I didn’t know how badly I needed whiskey in my Arnold Palmer until I put whiskey in my Arnold Palmer. To get your own bottle of Maker’s Mark to make one yourself, head here.
Salty Lemon Shortbread
makes 36 cookies
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.
Bourbon Arnold Palmer
An Arnold Palmer (equal parts lemonade and iced tea) is what I’ll always order when I’m having lunch out in the world, probably at a place with tablecloths and chicken breast on every salad. It’s also a good place to start a great cocktail— refreshing, slightly tannic, gorgeous to look at, meant to be drank over lots of ice. If you have unsweetened iced tea already made, you don’t need to do the step with the steeping (you can simply add sugar and wait for it to dissolve), but it is helpful as it saves you the step of making a simple syrup (two birds, one stone). But if you are following as written, be sure to cool down your tea mixture before making your drink.
1-2 tea bags of your choosing (I like hibiscus, but classic Liptons is also great)
¾ cup sugar, plus more to taste
6 ounces Maker’s Mark
1 cup fresh lemon juice
Mint leaves or lemon slices, for garnish
1. Brew tea in 2 cups hot water; add ¾ cup sugar, stir to dissolve. Strain tea bags and let cool completely (if you’re going to do this with purchased iced tea, just make sure it’s unsweetened). Add more sugar to taste.
2. Combine 1 cup sweetened iced tea, Maker’s Mark and lemon juice in a large glass jar or pitcher. Pour over ice and garnish with a little mint or lemon, if you’re feeling festive. Save extra tea for sipping later.
I can’t seem to find the same Mejuri gold hoops I’ve been wearing for a while on their site, but these are similar. This is why I have two pairs, for when I inevitably misplace one. Jeans are Levi’s ribcage, classic white t-shirt is Alex Mill prospect tee. This is my uniform.
I don’t have a specific preserved lemon recommendation, since I either make my own or go out of my way to get the ones from the olive bar at Sahadi’s (if you’re in New York, you can do the same! Ditto Kalustyans). If you have a favorite brand you’re partial to, I’d love to know!
If you don’t own a reliable 9x13 baking dish, now is the time. I like a classic glass Pyrex (mine was in use at the time of filming). The one I use in the video is ceramic and slightly smaller (which I find so annoying)— this is is the exact one I’m using, so if you make these cookies in this dish, hold back a little dough so they aren’t too thick.