40% Recipe, 60% Tangential Ranting, 100% Real: Orange and Almond Shortbread with Vanilla Citrus Glaze

Don’t worry, there are no vegetables in this post. I apologize for that lapse in animal fat but I think I can make up for it in a few paragraphs.Orange and almond shortbread - Alex Marie Lombino
Before we get to the good stuff, I just need to say something to the most depressing episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive that is the internet. I’ve spent a lot of time on the internet this week, acquiring knowledge, watching adorable videos of sloths, and I just want to take this moment to address Google Glass. Seriously Google, from all of us ladies and gay men in long-term committed relationships with middle-to-upper-middle class white men who already spend the agonizing public transportation ride playing Fieldrunners on their iPhones or reading their Kindle Hellfires or watching porn on their watches…what the fuck, Google? Where does it end? Oh, I was just saying that we really needed to give dudes another shiny distraction from the unrelenting charade of asking me how my day was. At least they look so posh. Thanks Google, keep solving problems. Maybe while you’re at it we could get a few more Teen Mom sex tapes. Keep those coming.

In pastry news, I just baked something with three sticks of butter in it, so what am I getting so ornery about, right? I’ve been experiencing acute symptoms of culinary school withdrawal. I miss all of the stainless steel, the endless supply of high grade chocolate, the smell of the weird stockpot in the corner of the room that could fit two of me if you wanted to make Salty Broad Stew. I’m feeling creatively stunted in my tiny city-gal kitchen, and I don’t like it. In the coming weeks I will tackle something entirely too labor intensive for one girl and her blog, but for today we’re just going to make some short bread.

Shortbread isn’t actually bread, so that’s already misleading. It’s more or less a cookie. What’s really great about this shortbread is that you cut it after baking, which is like, whoa, that’s not the natural order of things. That is out of order. Trust me on this one though, because it took me less time make this recipe than it did to write this blog. I’m sure you’d never have guessed that, what with all the little nuggets of expository gold you just sifted out of the other muddy crap.

I’ll be honest, I’m having a little trouble focusing right now because Kristen Wiig is hosting SNL and Maya Rudolph is pregnant for, like, the 9th time. That’s right, it’s actually Saturday. It isn’t Sunday at all. I’ll stop blowing your mind with all this time travel and get on with the recipe.
Orange and almond shortbread - Alex Marie Lombino
Orange and Almond Shortbread with Vanilla Citrus Glaze
3 cups Flour
¾ cups Sugar
2 tbsp Orange zest (1-3 oranges, depending on size)
½ tsp Salt
1 ¼ cups (2 ½ sticks) Butter, cold and cut into small pieces
1 ½ tsp Almond extract
1 Egg yolk

1 cup Confectioner’s sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1 ounce Fresh lemon juice
½ tsp Vanilla extract

Combine flour, sugar, orange zest, and salt in the bowl of a mixer. Mix on low speed for a minute to disperse zest. Add butter all at once, mixing until flour is coated and appears crumbly. Add almond extract and egg yolk, and mix until dough comes together.

Press dough into an ungreased 8-10” cake pan, making sure it is evenly dispersed. Pierce with fork throughout the dough. Bake for about 40 minutes, until the edges just appear golden.

Allow to cool to room temperature, then carefully remove from pan (Here’s a hint: I used a spring form pan). Combine confectioner’s sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Spread carefully on top of shortbread and allow to set. Find a nice, sharp straight edge knife to cut into triangles. Serve with Earl Grey or other strong black tea, that’ll be classy.

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