Alright. Time to get real.
So I typically try to hide my political/social/economic bias on Bakecetera. But, I feel that if I'm silent on this issue, France will really, truly suffer. I'm not being judgemental, I'm being honest. Things need to change.
I went to the raddest concert last night (Granville!), and it was such a blast! I danced my heart out to their funky-pop-yet-slightly-indie beats for the entirety of the show.
Granville was the main act, but BEFORE Granville, my friend and I experienced a very special treat: Les Filles et Les Garçons. His face was enough for me to instantly fall in love, but after I overcame this, I realized the music was actually superb! I dare to say it may have even been better than the Granville bit of the show.
But - here's the issue... the music = great; the venue = perfect; the wine = cheap; my dance partner = a Turkish delight; les Parisians = ben, ils ne bougent pas. Like honestly, not one person in the entire place was dancing besides my friend and me. I'm lost. So incredibly lost. I can't stand another minute to sit in silence without questioning my fellow French friends WHY? And, if it was the first time, that's totally ok, I'd give you guys another shot... but I've seen SO MANY concerts in Paris, and nada. I mean, in Montreal concerts are like an extended aerobics workout. It's awesome. Ah, culture differences I suppose. But, REALLY?
Ok, my minor pourquoi? rant is done. Now let's chat about something the French do quite well: Lillet. I fell in love with Lillet in the early fall of 2012. It's like wine+extra alcohol. Honestly, what isn't to love? You can mix it with white whiskey (which I have yet to try), vodka (which I have tried), mint+lemonade (my favourite cocktail at the moment), or you can serve it up with just a touch of sparkling water. It's really great.
Since I like it so much, I decided to add its subtle touch to cookies. It's like two wonderful things had a dance party... and actually danced.
(Adapted from allrecipes.)
Lillet-Rose Shortbread Cookies - What you need:
- 1/3 cup Lillet
- 1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 6-8 dried rose petals (the edible kind, from a specialty store/baking store... if you can't find these, lavender or even thyme would be an awesome substitute)
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup (170 grams) softened butter*
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
*I used butter here because I knew the taste would stand out a lot in these cookies. HOWEVER, since there are no eggs, nor any dairy, these can easily be made vegan by replacing the butter with margarine.
Lillet-Rose Shortbread Cookies - What you do:
First make a Lillet-Rose reduction by adding 1 tablespoon of sugar, 1/3 cup Lillet, and around 4-5 rose petals to a small saucepan. Heat the mixture up until it just starts to boil, and then reduce the heat to a light simmer for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The Lillet will reduce to about a tablespoon. Strain the mixture to remove the rose petals. Set aside to cool while you prepare the rest of the cookies.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (The original recipe called for a square 9x9 inch pan (23x23cm), but I used something slightly larger. It was fine, my cookie was just thinner than the traditional shortbread cookie.)
Add the flour, 1/3 cup sugar, salt, and 2-3 crushed rose petals to a large bowl. Blend everything together until coarse crumbs form. If you have trouble getting the butter to break up, use your hands!
Once you're at this stage, drizzle the reduced Lillet over the dough. Stir it together, but again - I'd say use your hands... The dough is dry, but it will come together quite well with a bit of kneading. You can do this all in the bowl.
Bring the dough into a ball. Place the dough in a baking dish, and then press it out with your fingers until it forms an even and smooth layer. I didn't try - but it seems like if you refrigerate it for an hour or so, it would work for rolling out into cookies as well.
Bake at 180 celsius for 15 minutes, or until the edges start to turn golden brown.
Remove from the oven, and cut the dough into bars/squares/lopsided rectangles. Add some fork action if you want to pretend you're all official like the original shortbread cookies.
Plate them up and serve! Store them in an airtight container for up to a week (like that's necessary?).
Baking Soundtrack - Tunes to inspire your inner baker: