Although I didn`t actually visit Nantucket, I was in Cape Cod this past June. It was everything I had imagined it would be.....calm, peaceful, full of seafood shacks and wood shingled homes and cottages. Blue skies, salt air and ocean, friendly people and mystery novel worthy lighthouses. I had read somewhere that Cape Cod is a vacation spot opposite of the Hampton`s.......meaning not a Hummer or designer bag in sight. I did spot a designer bag or two, but it really did lack any pretentiousness that I like to avoid especially while on holiday.
I waited until this trip to finally pick up Sarah Leah Chase`s Nantucket Open House Cookbook. I had heard about it and read great reviews and thought it would be a great souvenir (I like to pick up cookbooks when I travel). I haven`t had time to really look long and hard at it until recently inspired by Lisa and Michelle. I`ve spent the entire long weekend going through it cover to cover and it is excellent. I love it and would recommend it to anyone who loves to cook or eat.
The Orange Shortbread recipe is in the Christmas section of her book, but I couldn`t wait until December to try it. It was delicious and made such a large quantity of cookies which I think is great (I feel like it`s time well spent to have so many left for the week). They are buttery, soft and light with a lingering orange flavour. I`m adding them to my Christmas baking assortment without a doubt. I think they might be nice half dipped in chocolate for a little over the top decoration or presentation too.
The recipe was a cinch, I have it in memory already which is saying a lot for me.
Orange Shortbread from Nantucket Open House Cookbook
2 cups Unsalted Butter (at room temperature)
1.5 cups of Brown Sugar
4 cups All Purpose Flour
pinch of salt
Zest of 2 Oranges
2 eggs, whisked
2 TBSP water
Cream the butter and sugar. Add in the flour and salt, bit by bit, until completely incorporated )it should be a fairly stiff dough). Mix in the orange zest. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to a half an inch thickness and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with the egg and water wash. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks and try not to eat a dozen like I did.
They are oh, so good!