IMBB? - Li Hing Shortbread
It's been a while since I last participated in any IMBB event. In fact, the last time I participated was back in June for the 5th incarnation of this world wide blogging event. This month's Is My Blog Burning? Event is being hosted by none other than Jennifer over at The Domestic Goddess. The theme for this event? A good old-fashioned Cookie Swap.
In keeping with the theme, I gave an old favorite an updated twist and a sort of local flair. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know that I love the flavor of li hing mui (Chinese preserved plums). In fact, many local people here use li hing mui powder to season everything from margueritas, to fresh pineapple, to popcorn.
For this particular recipe, I used a standard shortbread recipe, which is one part sugar, two parts butter and three parts flour. I added in just enough li hing mui powder to give it a nice color and add just the right amount of sweet/salty/savory flavor.
Here's my contribution. I hope you all enjoy it!
Li Hing Shortbread
5 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup superfine granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons li hing mui powder*
*You may want to start off with a little less li hing mui powder (1 1/2 tablespoons). If the flavor is not intense enough for you, sprinkle additional li hing mui powder on the cookies while they are still warm.
Preheat oven to 275º F.
In a large mixing bowl, bring 2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter to room temperature. Set aside.
In another mixing bowl, whisk together confectioners sugar, granulated sugar and li hing mui powder.
Add sugar/li hing mui powder mixture to softened butter and mix until well combined. Mixture should be light and fluffy.
Sift in flour in two batches, each time mixing until just incorporated. Do not over mix. (My preference is to mix by hand. I find that the texture of the finished cookies is lighter and much crisper.)
Press lightly into a jelly roll pan (13" x 18" x 1") and prick dough all over with the tines of a fork (or a toothpick).
Bake for 50-60 minutes until edges start to turn a little crisp and look "dry" (you won't see them turn golden brown since the li hing mui powder makes the dough a sort of orange color). Remove from oven.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Cut while still warm and return cookies to wire rack to complete cooling.
For a more intense flavor, dust with addtional li hing mui powder. Enjoy!