Famous shortbread Cookies

Famous shortbread Cookies
With the holidays approaching we are doing much more baking. For today we would like to share with you two different variations of shortbread cookies for you to try. The first is from Metrolpolitan Bakery - a spicy shortbread with crushed pink peppercorns, and the second recipe is from the Inn at Ellis River for their award-winning Sage Pignoli Shortbreads which are a bit on the savory side. We hope your family enjoys these!

Metrolpolitan Bakery Pink Peppercorn Shortbread
A spicy spin on classic shortbread, this exquisite little cookie is perfect for birthdays, showers, tea parties, Mother’s Day and more. To preserve the pink hue, crush the pink peppercorns with the bottom of a pan.
Yields 30 cookies.

3 sticks or 1 ½ cups sweet unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup pink peppercorns, lightly crushed (do not use a spice grinder)
Crystal sugar (clear decorating sugar)

In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment soften butter on low speed. Add the sugar and mix on medium speed until pale.
Split the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape the seeds with a small knife. Add vanilla seeds and extract to the butter and mix well.
Mix salt and flour together, then add to butter on low speed gradually until all the flour is incorporated. Mix in the crushed peppercorns until thoroughly distributed on low speed.
Scrape the dough onto your work surface. Press the dough into a 1 inch thick square. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate the dough for 3 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Remove dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. Allow the dough to soften for 5 minutes before attempting to roll out the cookie dough. It is helpful to bash the dough with a rolling pin to help soften the dough particularly if you have had it in the refrigerator overnight.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut the cookies into 2 ¾ inch squares. Place cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking tray ½ inch apart. You can re-roll the cookie dough twice.
Chill the cookies for at least 20 minutes. Remove cookies from the refrigerator and sprinkle each lightly with crystal sugar. Place the cookie tray on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes rotating the tray midway.
Cookies should be light golden brown around the edges. Remove cookies to a cooling rack.

Sage Pignoli Shortbreads from the Inn at Ellis River
Jackson, New Hampshire
Winner,‘BEST OF BEDANDBREAKFAST’ Awards. These shortbreads were created for the 2011 Inn to Inn Herb Tour, these savory bites are great for brunch, afternoon tea, or with a glass of wine as an aperitif.

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsalted butter, chilled
½ cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

Blend first 4 ingredients briefly in food processor. Use 2 tablespoons sage for lightly scented flavor; more for a stronger herb taste. Cut butter into 1/2-inch-thick pieces Add butter to processor bowl; using on/off turns, process until dough comes together. Turn out into bowl and mix in toasted pine nuts. Divide dough in half. Shape each dough piece into log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Chill until firm enough to slice, about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut each chilled log into 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick rounds; place on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake approximately 18-22 minutes or until cookies are golden. Cool on racks.