With cloves, coriander, and brandy-soaked fruit,these Spiced Raisin Swirl Shortbread Cookies are a beautiful light treat with your coffee or tea.
In the bowl of a stand mixer equipped with a paddle attachment (or in a bowl with a hand mixer), cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Blend in the lemon juice, egg, vanilla extract, and brandy until just combined.
Once chilled, use a sharp knife to slice the log of dough into 1/4th inch rounds. Spread the rounds out on the parchment with an inch or so between and bake for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest for about 5 minutes, then remove the cookies to a rack to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature and enjoy within 4 days.
Choosing a Brandy: I suggest using a traditional grape brandy (like French cognac) for this recipe, but only because its easy to find a drinkable bottle at a reasonable price point. Apple, pear, or whatever other brandy you have on hand (or can easily pick up) will all work equally well in this cookie.
A More Rustic Cookie: Converting this recipe to a drop-style cookie with less steps is easy. Omit the extra brown sugar and tablespoon of butter in the filling ingredients. Soak and drain the raisins from the brandy are proscribed above. Follow the directions for making the cookie dough, but before adding the dry mixture to the wet mixture, add the raisins and lemon zest. If you have the time, wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for an hour, or at least as long as it takes for your oven to heat to 375 degrees F. Line to baking sheets with parchment paper, and spoon out balls of dough, leaving an inch of space between on the sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just golden.