Huckleberry Café in Santa Monica is a pretty great place to stop in, seeking refuge from inclement weather or traffic or hunger, or some combination of the three. The other morning, Nathan was bustling around the crowded shop and bakery, having recently baked off a batch of these shortbread cookies. Nathan gave us the recipe; she also uses the dough to make tart crusts. The addition of whole wheat flour gives the cookies an earthy, nutty flavor. Yeah, alright, whole grains too, so you can eat a couple more and still feel a little virtuous. If you don't have Caffé Luxxe coffee, as they do at the café, a cup of milk works just fine.
Huckleberry Café: 1014 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica; (310) 451-1322.
Whole Wheat Shortbread Cookies
From: Pastry chef Zoe Nathan of Huckleberry and Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica. Nathan, like many pastry chefs, measures her ingredients by weight rather than volume. You can use an inexpensive battery-operated kitchen scale to do this.
Makes: 24 cookies
12 ounces all-purpose flour
6 ounces whole wheat flour
5 1/2 ounces cornstarch
18 ounces Plugra butter
5 1/2 ounces white sugar plus extra for finishing
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the AP and wheat flours with the cornstarch.
2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and combine thoroughly, being careful not to overmix.
4. Shape cookies by rolling them out on a flour-dusted working surface and cutting them out with cookie cutters into desired shapes. Arrange them on cookie sheets and bake until the cookies are brown around the edges. Remove them and dust generously with more granulated sugar.