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

Monday, May 05, 2014 4:25 pm

Illustration by Owen Tindle, Color by Benjamin Steckel

Illustration by Owen Tindle, Color by Benjamin Steckel


By Alex Marie Lombino


Before we get to the good stuff, I just need to respond to something almost as depressing as an episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive. I’ve spent a lot of time on the internet this week, acquiring knowledge, watching adorable videos of sloths, that kind of thing, and I just want to take this moment to address Google Glass. Seriously, Google, from all of us ladies and gays in long-term committed relationships with middle- to upper-middle class white men who already spend their public transportation ride playing Fieldrunners on their iPhones or reading their Kindle Hellfires or watching porn on their watches: What the *%#!? Where does it end, Google? Like we really need to give dudes another shiny distraction from the charade of asking us how our day was. Thanks, Google. Keep solving problems. Maybe while you’re at it we could get a few more Teen Mom sex tapes. Keep those coming.

No vegetables harmed here

In pastry news, I just baked something soothing with three sticks of butter in it, so what am I getting so ornery about, right? Thing is, 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 may tackle something absurdly too labor-intensive for one girl, a miniscule oven, and her blog, but for today I’m just going to make shortbread.

Shortbread isn’t actually bread, so there’s one question left unanswered. It’s more or less a cookie, but we won’t tell little short-short that. We’ll let her keep thinking she’s more than just the weeknight girlfriend. What’s really great about this shortbread recipe is that you cut it after baking, which is, like, whoa—that’s not the natural order of things. Trust me, though, and just go with it because it took me less time to make the recipe than it did to write this blog.


Orange and Almond Shortbread with Vanilla Citrus Glaze

broken shorbread_1890

3 cups flour

¾ cups sugar

2 tbsp orange zest (1 to 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 sharp straight-edge knife to cut into triangles. Serve with Earl Grey or other strong black tea. That’ll be classy.


 Alex Marie Lombino writes about food and other obsessions in her blog Bowl of Sour Cherries. You can reach her at



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