Ever since we've been together, I've told people that my husband, Daniel, is the cook and I am the baker. Since a kid, I've baked cookies and cakes and pies with my mother in her cramped little kitchen, doling out tasty pastries like tomorrow would never come. One of my favorite treats, however, doesn't come from my mother's kitchen, but another, the SmittenKitchen. Today's recipe is Peach Shortbread.
This is truly one of the easiest recipes I've ever followed, but it is easy to mess up as I have today while making this latest batch. I'll reveal my flub further down.
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 3/4 cups plus two tablespoons of all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon of grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon of salt (granulated; not kosher)
2 sticks of unsalted butter
1 large egg
2 peaches, pitted and sliced thin
Start by browning the butter in a medium saucepan over med-low heat. This will take between 8-10 minutes depending on your range top (gas or electric). The butter will foam first before it turns golden, and very quickly will begin to brown. Be sure to stir frequently. Pour the browned butter into a bowl and place in the freezer for about 30 minutes or until solidified.
Next, preheat the oven to 375ºF, and grease or butter a 9x13 inch pan.
In another bowl, combine the sugar, baking powder, flour, spices and salt. Once the flour mixture is thoroughly whisked, begin spooning in brown butter along with the egg, and either with a pastry blender, fork or your fingers, blend altogether. This will result in a very crumbly mixture.
Use about 3/4 of this crumbly mixture and pat firmly down into the pan. Layer the peach slices on top of the patted mixture, then dust the top with the leftover crumbly mixture. Pop the pan in the oven for half an hour or until the sides and the top is brown. Then cut it into little squares after it has cooled.
While the butter is browning, go ahead and start pitting and slicing the peaches. The butter will foam for a few minutes before it begins to clear up and brown.
Here's my flub: I only used one stick of butter. Fortunately, the shortbread turned out just fine. I had to take out about a cup of flour for it work, though.
Pat the first layer of the mixture firmly into the pan, then layer the peach slices over that top. Afterward, scatter the last of the crumbly mixture over the top. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes and you're done.
The Smitten Kitchen - Peach Shortbread