Mahleb shortbread

Mahleb shortbread, from Honey & Co.

We make these shortbreads to resemble traditional Ma’amool cookies but use mahleb (a spice ground from cherry stones) to add a little something different. The lovely shape is created by tiny crimpers; without them you can just use your fingertips and pinch them into a star shape. They are nice dusted with confectioner’s sugar.

3 1/2 oz. confectioner’s sugar
7 oz. butter
10 oz. plain flour
1 tsp. ground mahleb powder (can be purchased from Middle Eastern groceries)
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of salt

Lightly cream the confectioner’s sugar and butter in an electric mixer (with a paddle attachment, if you have one), or you can use a wide spoon if working it by hand. The butter and sugar should be combined together to a soft paste, then add the remaining ingredients and mix until just combined.

Roll them into little balls (1 oz. each) and pinch with the crimpers or your fingertips.

Bake in the center of a medium heat oven (325 degrees) for 15 minutes, until light golden.

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