January 18, 2022

Bake These Boozy Scorching Buttered Rum Shortbread Cookies from Lisa Ludwinski of Detroit’s Sister Pie

5 min read

Earlier than Lisa Ludwinski opened Sister Pie’s brick-and-mortar bakery in Detroit in 2015, shortbread wasn’t actually on her radar. She didn’t fairly get the hype surrounding the easy, butter-based cookies—however that rapidly modified when she started experimenting with methods to brighten up the traditional.

“There’s actually so much you are able to do after you have a fundamental shortbread recipe, so it’s a great one to have in your repertoire,” says Ludwinski. It seems shortbread is a good “clean canvas” for including all types of flavorings, from herbs to citrus to nuts and spices to liquor and liqueurs.

Ludwinski’s Hot Buttered Rum cocktail-inspired shortbread cookies have confirmed significantly well-liked at her bakeshop. The scrumptious confection requires, after all, butter in addition to traditional baking spices like clove, cinnamon and nutmeg. A measure of darkish or spiced rum provides depth. A skinny layer of rum-infused icing tops every one.

“They’re undoubtedly boozy; you actually style the rum within the icing, however then the clove spice is the second strongest taste to me,” says Ludwinski. “It’s only a very heat tasting cookie. It simply feels such as you’re sitting by a fireplace studying a narrative and taking a look at wrapped presents or one thing.”

Within the years since they debuted at Sister Pie, these spirited shortbreads have develop into one in every of Ludwinski’s signatures, even making an look in her e-book, Sister Pie: The Recipes & Stories Of A Big-Hearted Bakery In Detroit.

“Folks can be upset if we didn’t convey them again for the vacations,” says Ludwinski, who now considers herself a “shortbread queen.”

Listed below are Ludwinski’s ideas for creating a wonderfully boozy, buttery shortbread cookie.

Select Your Butter Rigorously

Like all shortbread, a lot of the flavour in Ludwinski’s cookies comes from the butter, so it’s extremely necessary to make use of high-quality butter. She prefers an unsalted European-style butter, just like the Irish Kerrygold, which has the next fats content material.

“Use a butter that you simply actually like consuming as a result of that taste goes to return by way of a lot in such a easy cookie as a shortbread,” she says. “It’s actually simply flour, butter, sugar, salt after which the spice. I believe that’s a serious cause why folks like our shortbread a lot, as a result of they’re actually tasting that scrumptious butter.”

Watch out for Overworking the Dough

One of the vital necessary issues to recollect when making shortbread dough is to not overmix when it comes time to form it right into a log for slicing. Overworking the dough may give it a troublesome texture moderately than the specified crumbly shortbread impact.

“Plenty of instances what I’ll do is make a unfastened log after which I’ll put it into the plastic wrap and proceed to roll it within the plastic wrap till it actually turns into like a easy log that I can slice into later,” says Ludwinski.

Whilst you need the cookies to chill earlier than you start icing them, Ludwinski says the method is exponentially simpler when the icing is a bit of bit heat—plus it is going to make sure the icing dries with a pleasant sheen. “For those who made the icing the day earlier than and put it within the fridge, heat it up over a double boiler,” she says. “Then you may dip the highest of the cookie in, or you could possibly take a bit of offset spatula and unfold it on—that’s how they develop into actually shiny and easy on high.”

Shortbread has a surprisingly spectacular shelf life for a cookie, lasting for as much as per week with out changing into stale—that’s should you can resist consuming them for that lengthy.

However if you wish to make your shortbread prematurely and guarantee that it’ll style freshly baked in your vacation company, Ludwinski recommends throwing a log of the dough into the fridge a couple of days earlier than you intend to bake them, or into the freezer a few weeks forward.

“It’s greatest to slice them as soon as they’ve had a very nice relaxation within the fridge,” she says. “That method the spice flavors will actually type of seep into the dough.”

Makes 36 cookies


Shortbread Dough

  • 2.25 cups All-purpose flour
  • .5 tsp Floor cinnamon
  • .5 tsp Floor nutmeg
  • .25 tsp Floor cloves
  • .5 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • .75 cup Powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Darkish or spiced rum
  • .5 tsp Pure vanilla extract

Rum Icing

  • .75 cup Powdered sugar, plus extra as wanted
  • 2 tsp Coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tsp Darkish or spiced rum
  • 2 Tbsp Heavy cream, plus extra as wanted, at room temperature
  • .25 tsp Kosher salt
  • sprint Floor cloves


For the Cookie Dough

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk collectively the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. Put aside.
  2. Place the butter and powdered sugar within the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on medium pace for about 3 minutes, till very easy with no seen chunks of butter.
  3. Use a silicone spatula to scrape down the bowl, then add the rum and vanilla, and blend till simply included. Add the flour combination abruptly and blend on low pace till utterly included. Take away the dough from the bowl and form right into a cylindrical log roughly one-and-a-half inches in diameter. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for no less than 40 minutes. You’ll be able to combine and form the dough as much as 2 days prematurely and retailer it within the fridge till 1 hour earlier than you propose to roll out the dough. Alternatively, you might freeze the dough for as much as 3 months, then let it thaw within the fridge in a single day earlier than continuing with the recipe.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  5. Take away the dough from the fridge, unwrap it, and place on a reducing board.
  6. Utilizing a pointy chef’s knife, slice the cookies a couple of quarter-inch thick. Rigorously switch them to the parchment-lined baking sheets.
  7. Place the baking sheets within the oven and bake for 14 to 16 minutes, till the sides are simply barely golden.
  8. Take away the baking sheets from the oven and switch the cookies to wire racks to chill.

For the Icing

  1. Whereas cookies are cooling, in a medium bowl whisk collectively the powdered sugar, coconut oil, rum, cream, salt and cloves till very easy. The feel ought to remind you of Elmer’s Glue. Yum!
  2. If the icing appears a bit of dry, whisk in a bit extra heavy cream. If it appears a bit of too moist, whisk in powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  3. As soon as the cookies have totally cooled, use a small offset spatula or knife to unfold a really skinny, even layer of icing throughout the tops of the cookies. It ought to be fastidiously smoothed, not gloppy. Return the cookies to the baking sheets to provide the icing an opportunity to arrange earlier than serving. Retailer the iced cookies in an hermetic container for as much as per week.

Reprinted with permission from Sister Pie: The Recipes & Stories of a Big-Hearted Bakery in Detroit by Lisa Ludwinski, copyright (c) 2018. Printed by Lorena Jones Books, a division of Penguin Random Home, Inc.

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