Rye Shortbread Cookies
These cookies are delicious eaten the day of, but we were surprised at how complex they tasted after sitting overnight. The flavor deepens and the texture improves with time. This recipe is from Tandem Coffee and Bakery in Portland, ME.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ tsp. finely grated orange zest
- 2 cups rye flour (dark rye if possible)
- ¼ cup black or white sesame seeds
Using an electric mixer on medium high-speed (or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat butter in a large bowl until smooth, about 1 minute. Add granulated sugar, orange zest, and kosher salt and beat again just to combine.
Reduce mixer speed to medium-low, add egg, and beat, scraping down sides of bowl, just until combined.
Reduce mixer speed to low and, working in 2 batches, beat in flour, scraping down bowl in between additions, until just combined and no dry spots remain (do not overmix).
Dampen a work surface with a bit of water and place a large sheet of plastic wrap on top (the water will help the plastic adhere smoothly to the counter).
Place half of dough in the center of plastic wrap, then fold plastic over to cover dough and protect your hands from getting all sticky. Using your hands, form dough into a log shape (rolling it on the counter will help), until log is about 2" in diameter and 5" long. Repeat with remaining dough. Chill logs until firm, about 2 hours.
Place racks on upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix sesame seeds, demerara sugar, and sea salt on a small rimmed baking sheet or plate. Unwap dough and roll in sesame seed mixture until coated.
Slice dough into ¼"-thick rounds. Arrange on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1" apart. Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through, until golden brown and firm, 25–30 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.
Do Ahead: Cookies can be made 2 days ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.