Orange Shortbread Wafers
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 pint blackberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup crème fraîche
1 tablespoon orange-blossom honey
1/4 teaspoon orange-flower water
To make cookies, using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the vanilla and orange zest and mix well. Beat in the flour and salt until well combined. Form the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and chill for at least 3 hours or up to 3 days.
Preheat the oven to 300° F. Roll the dough between two pieces of parchment paper to 3/16 inch thick. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut the shortbread into 12 rounds and place them 1-inch apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. (Do not reroll the scraps) Prick the shortbread with a fork or wooden skewer in a decorative pattern and bake until pale golden all over, 25-30 minutes. Cool completely on rack.
To prepare blackberries, in a small bowl, combine a quarter of the blackberries with sugar and let macerate for 10 minutes. Puree the mixture in a blender, then strain through a fine sieve, discarding the solids. In a large bowl, toss the remaining berries with the puree and orange zest and set aside.
To prepare the crème fraîche, using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the crème fraîche, honey and orange-flower water and beat until the cream holds soft peaks. Refrigerate for up to 2 hours.
Assemble the Napoleons as desired—be creative! Stack as high or low as you dare.
Claudia Fleming’s cookbook, The Last Course, is a must for anyone who likes to bake. It is difficult to find but is available on The North Fork Inn website: http://www.northforktableandinn.com/