Slightly sweet, crumbly shortbread packs a nice punch when topped with four varieties of coarsely ground peppercorns; you can use a tablespoon of a premixed blend of peppercorns instead of the separate colors. Enjoy a piece for breakfast or with your afternoon tea.

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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees, with rack in center. Lightly butter four 4 1/2-inch springform pans (or one 10-inch springform pan).

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  • Whisk to combine flour, salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of each ground peppercorn. In a separate bowl, beat butter and confectioners' sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down side of bowl. Reduce speed to low. Gradually add flour mixture; mix just until combined.

  • Divide dough evenly among prepared pans, and smooth tops using an offset spatula (or press into 10-inch pan, if using, and lightly score into 8 wedges). Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until golden brown, about 40 minutes (or 80 minutes for 10-inch).

  • Transfer pans to a wire rack. Immediately sprinkle with granulated sugar and remaining ground pepper, dividing evenly. Remove pans; let cool completely on rack. (If using 10-inch pan, cool slightly before cutting into wedges.) Shortbread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 2 weeks.

Cook's Notes

Gift-Wrapping Tip
We wrapped our 4 1/2-inch rounds in glassine cut into a star shape, and tied them with kitchen twine. Get the star template here.

Reviews (2)

24 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 10
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 5
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: Unrated
03/10/2008
This was my first attempt at shortbread - it turned out great, melt in your mouth buttery. The only thing I'd suggest is to take it easy on the white and pink pepper corns, they have a slightly sour flavor that works nicely but I'd like it to be a little less prominent.
Rating: Unrated
02/24/2008
OH. MY. HECK. Try this with a basic royal icing as a coup de grn n n n ce but add Fleur de Sel or hand crushed Pink Himalayan Salt as a finishing touch while the icing is wet. Absolute bliss.