I’m home with the kids for a mini stay-cation this week. We’ve got a list of activities and blueberry picking was high on the list. My little workers helped pick almost 10 pounds of blueberries. The great thing about blueberries is that you can freeze them for later. A handful of frozen blueberries makes our weekly pancake nights divinely delicious. Fresh blueberries are used in this recipe but you could easily use frozen ones instead. I like this recipe because it only makes a couple dozen cookies since I can’t resist eating them all by myself. This is a variation on my Matcha Shortbread Cookies and I’m already dreaming up more variations.
Blueberry Almond Shortbread Cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 3/4 cup flour
- 6 tablespoons + 2 tablespoons almond flour (or almond meal)
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar
In a medium bowl, cream together butter, 6 tablespoons powdered sugar, egg yolk, and almond extract. In another bowl combine flour and almond flour. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and mix until fully combined. Put the blueberries in a glass measuring cup and microwave on high for just under 30 seconds. The blueberries will be hot so carefully mash with a fork then strain the blueberries into the bowl that you used for the flour. Discard the blueberry seeds and skins. Add 1 tablespoon powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons almond flour to the blueberry juice and mix until smooth. Divide the cookie dough in half and mix half with the blueberry mixture.
Using a large piece of wax or parchment paper, make a line with the plain dough and then place the purple dough on top. Fold the paper over the dough and using a ruler on top of the paper and pressed against the dough pull the bottom piece of wax paper to create a smooth 2-inch wide cylinder of dough. Twist ends of wax paper and place in freezer for about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Roll the log in the turbinado sugar to cover all sides, or roll each slice before placing on the baking sheet. Cut dough into 1/4-inch slices and bake for 9 minutes or until just starting to turn golden. Rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a rack to cool completely. While your first batch of cookies is baking place the dough in the freezer to prevent it from getting too soft to slice. Makes 2 dozen cookies. Store in a sealed container at room temperature up to 5 days.
Blueberry picking at a farm in Massachusetts (Indian Head Farm in Berlin) is so very different from how we picked blueberries when I was growing up in Northern Ontario. For one thing, we picked only wild blueberries when I was a kid and we could take several trails to an extensive blueberry patch in the hills behind our house. Picking at a farm always brings up those memories and there are plenty of them because my mother seemed to think that it was an appropriate summer job for us to pick baskets of blueberries to sell in town while she picked for our own supply. We picked using 4-quart baskets because the buyer in town would pay $8 per basket and the disappointment was never as great as when one of us would trip and spill an entire basket of berries on the trail. Those summers really were an adventure because there was always the possibility of crossing paths with a black bear whenever we’d go picking, though we never did because I was sure to make plenty of noise to scare away those bears. Once my mother got us mixed up and couldn’t find the trail back home so my younger brother offered to get us home if she would give him her blueberries to sell. Luckily for everyone he prevented us from being lost in the woods that day.