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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Peppercorns? In Shortbread?

I have a baking challenge for you. Try using what are normally savory ingredients in a sweet baking application.

Now, I’m only being so commanding because I truly think it will be an enlightening baking adventure. My muse? A Cracked Peppercorn Shortbread success story.

It’s amazing how the taste of something as familiar as pepper changes when introduced into a sweet, crumbly shortbread. It becomes floral and more nuanced…without losing its kick. It’s really something fantastic.

The sky is the limit here, and creativity is key. My next flavor adventure will be a peanut butter and cayenne cookie…and then perhaps a cumin-scented butter cake.

If you want to give the peppercorn shortbread a whirl, I recommend adding about 1 teaspoon finely ground pepper for each cup of flour called for in your favorite shortbread recipe. Try using a variety of peppercorns...I used black, green and white. Then, I sprinkled the top with a mixture of sugar and more cracked pepper. Who knew pepper could be so sweet?


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