December 11, 2017

Clove Shortbread w/ Dark Chocolate & Sea Salt | Unhooked

          In Lisa Maxwell's young adult Peter Pan re-imagining Unhooked, there is a handsome pirate captain who smells of cloves. Haha, I started calling him "Captain Clove" in my mind because the female main character mentions it several times. I couldn't not make something clove-ish for this book. ;)

          Did you know that back in the day chewing on whole cloves was a way to combat bad breath? Cloves certainly are powerful so they definitely get the job done (they're antibacterial and numbing as well). ;) I included dark chocolate in the recipe below because Lisa said that Unhooked would be dark chocolate if it was a food (you can see the #ifblankwasafood post here). The sea salt is in the recipe because they're pirates! on the sea! And they can be pretty salty. :) FYI, dipping the cookies in chocolate is optional, so feel free to leave out that step if you'd like, or simply make some with chocolate if you're making these for a crowd. Same with putting whole cloves on because they are pretty powerful. ;) Enjoy!


"Captain Clove" Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:
1 Cup Butter, room temperature
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
1 tsp. Vanilla or Orange Flavoring (or both)
1 Tbsp. Fresh Orange Zest (optional)
1/4 tsp. Salt (kosher salt or fine sea salt)
2 Cups Flour
2 tsp. Ground Cloves
1/8 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
3/4 Cup Dark Chocolate (if you can find a dark chocolate orange, use that!)
Course Sea Salt
Whole Cloves

Directions:
Beat the Butter & powdered sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the flavoring & optional zest. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt (not course sea salt), & spices. Beaty this dry mixture into the Butter mixture gradually until a nice dough forms.

Lay a large sheet of plastic wrap on a flat surface. Form the dough into a log & place it onto the center of the plastic & wrap it up. If you have an empty paper towel roll, cut it lengthwise & place the wrapped dough inside of it to help it stay rounded on all sides. Place the log in the fridge to chill for several hours or overnight.

Remove the dough from the fridge. Using a large, sharp knife, slice the log into discs about 1/4" thick. Place the dough slices about 1" apart on a large Silpat or parchment-lined tray & chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes (or in the freezer for about 5). If you'd like to have some cookies without chocolate & instead have a whole clove on top, press the cloves on at this point (one clove per cookie, in the center) before baking. While the dough is chilling, pre-heat your oven to 340ºF. Remove the tray & slide it into the oven & bake for about 13 minutes. Let cool completely.

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler, or in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth. Add a little coconut oil or EZ-Thin if needed to thin & smooth it out more. Dip half of each cookie into the chocolate & then place the cookies back onto the parchment or Silpat. Sprinkle with course sea salt & let sit for several minutes for the chocolate to solidify.

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