Try this shortbread spin on a strawberry season classic.
Prepare this during strawberry season, when you can pick your own berries or get small, homegrown berries from the farmers’ market; don’t use sad, giant, white-hearted strawberries that have been shipped in from afar. To prepare the shortbread rounds, you’ll need a drinking glass with a flat, thick bottom that is about 2¼ inches across, such as a 1-pint beer glass. The shortbread rounds can be prepared earlier in the day and set aside at room temperature; do the final assembly just before serving.
Strawberry Flats: Shortbread Rounds with Glazed Strawberries
Yield: 11 or 12 servings
- 10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for handling dough
- 3 cups small to medium top-quality fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half vertically
- ⅓ cup currant jelly or other red jelly
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- Mascarpone or whipped cream, for serving, optional
- Make the shortbread rounds: In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed for about 15 seconds, just until smooth and creamy. Add the granulated sugar, confectioners’ sugar, and salt. Beat for about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl, then add the egg yolk and vanilla and beat for about 30 seconds longer. Add the flour and beat on low speed just until incorporated. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and roll the dough into a log about 6 inches long and 2½ inches in diameter. Pat the ends in so they are fairly smooth. Wrap in waxed paper and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or as long as overnight.
- When you’re ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the chilled dough into ½-inch-thick rounds. Transfer to the baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between rounds. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes to soften slightly.
- Moisten the bottom of the drinking glass with a little water, then dip in a small dish of flour. Press the glass gently onto a dough circle to flatten the center, creating a shallow rim about ¼ inch wide. Press together any large cracks with your fingertips. Repeat with the remaining rounds, dipping the glass into the flour each time. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and, working quickly, press the floured bottom of the drinking glass gently into the center of each shortbread to flatten the center, which will have puffed up a bit. Return to the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes longer, until the edges are golden brown. Cool on the sheets for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the glazed strawberries: Shortly before you’re ready to serve, place the strawberries in a heatproof bowl. Heat the jelly and vinegar in a small nonreactive saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until the jelly melts. Pour over the strawberries, then toss gently to coat. Let marinate for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, arrange the shortbread rounds in a single layer on a serving platter.
- Divide the strawberries evenly among the shortbread rounds. Drizzle any remaining jelly mixture from the pan evenly over the strawberries. Top each with a dollop of mascarpone, if desired. Serve immediately.