Orange Blossom Shortbread


2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup parve margarine
⅓ cup parve shortening
1¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons orange blossom water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest from 1 medium lemon, finely grated

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the botton of a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper leaving a 2-inch overhang at both ends.

Combine the flour, cornmeal and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.

Beat the margarine, shortening, confectioners’ sugar, orange blossom water, vanilla, and lemon zest until light and creamy. It will look like buttercream frosting. Add the flour mixture in three parts, stirring to combine into a crumbly dough.

Spread the dough evenly in the prepared pan. Smooth the top with a spatula or the palm of your hand. Before baking, score the dough all the way through into 40 rectangular bars by making 5 vertical and 8 horizontal rows. Bake on the middle rack for 35-40 minutes or until the top is golden and dry.

Remove the pan from the oven and recut the rectangles immediately. When the shortbread has cooled completely, carefully lift the entre block from the pan using the overhanging parchment paper. Separate the individual cookies. 

Makes 40 cookies.

These cookies were inspired by Kristy who is my favorite vegan guest. When I served them with rose sorbet and fresh raspberries at Shabbat dinner, everyone finished dessert and then ate another cookie or two. The recipe is based on one in The Best of Fine Cooking: Cookies which I picked up at a newstand in Dallas’ Love Airport while waiting for a flight.

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