Monday, August 13, 2012

Blueberry, Lemon and White Chocolate Shortbread

For reasons unbeknownst to me, blueberries are not something widely available in Israel. Or at all. For about the cost of an arm and a leg (or, you know, rent) you can buy some frozen, but I don't think in the year that I've lived here I've ever seen fresh for sale. But when I stumbled across some dried blueberries in the open-air market next to my house (that only cost a leg), and found this recipe at the same time, I knew it was meant to be.
And boy was I glad I made these. The lemon, blueberries and white chocolate somehow all come together to create one addictive cookie. Of course, other citrus flavors like lime or orange would work nicely here as well. I used dried blueberries, as the recipe called for, but I soaked them first in hot water to plump them up a little. You could soak them in rum or another alcohol to add a different flavor note, and you could even experiment with fresh blueberries, though they might make the cookie a little soggy.
Just about everyone who wandered in and out of my apartment in the approximately 24 hours these four dozen cookies lasted wanted to try one. And most of them turned down my offer of telling them what was inside before they tasted them. Some went in blind, and others preferred to guess... "chocolate chip" "macadamia nuts" "rum" "peanut butter". Many were confused, but none were disappointed.
It has been almost two weeks since the last of these cookies was eaten (by yours truly) and I think I may have to head back to the market for more dried blueberries...

Recipe: (adapted very lightly from Piece of Cake)

3/4 cup dried blueberries
2 large lemons
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white chocolate chips

Place the blueberries in a bowl, an pour boiling water over them just to cover. Set aside.
Zest the lemons in to the sugar and mix together until all moistened. Let sit for five minutes
Beat together the lemon sugar and the butter until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla an salt and beat to combine.
Mix in the flour until just combined, then drain and add the blueberries and chocolate and stir until evenly incorporated.
Divide the dough in half, and using either plastic wrap or parchment paper roll the dough into a dog about 9 inches long. Repeat with the other half. Wrap tightly and chill in the fridge at least 3 hours or overnight.
Unwrap one log at a time and using a sharp knife gently slice the logs into cookies about 1/3" thick. You may have to press a few cookies back together if they crumble, but they'll be no worse for wear once baked.
Space the cookies about 1/2" apart on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and bake at 350 F for 18 to 20 minutes until just starting to brown around the edges.
Cool on the baking sheets for three minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.


  1. Ooh I love blueberries- when I lived in Europe they were also no where to be found! Weird.

  2. they look really soft and delicious!

  3. I think I would love these. They look moist and chewy!

  4. Thanks ladies! They are actually more on the crisp side than soft, but still extremely tasty and worth making!

  5. Anything with white chocolate is a winner in my book, why is it so underrated?