pink peppercorn shortbread

photo by Jennifer Johnson 

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups flour, sifted, plus extra for dusting
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons pink peppercorns, crushed

  1. Using an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter. Add sugar and beat until smooth, another 1-2 minutes.
  2. In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. Slowly add flour mixture to butter and blend until just combined. Stir in peppercorns. Transfer dough to a surface dusted with flour and shape into a flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.
  3. Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap. Lightly dust a work surface and rolling pin with flour. Allow dough to soften for 5 minutes. Roll dough until 3/8-inch thick. Dust a 2-inch fluted cookie cutter with flour and cut out shapes. Place cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and continue cutting out shapes, rolling dough as needed. Transfer baking sheet to refrigerator and chill cookies for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Remove cookies from refrigerator and bake for 18-22 minutes, until cookies are lightly golden brown around edges (do not overbake). Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack. Allow cookies to cool completely to room temperature.

Makes approximately 24 cookies.

cook’s note: The best way to break up whole peppercorns is by placing them on a cutting board and using the bottom of a heavy pan to carefully crush them.