The Vibrant Spice To Give Shortbread Cookies A Tart Bite

Shortbread is known for its simplicity — but that doesn't mean it's a basic cookie. Even when compared to flashier baked goods, plain but delicate shortbread cookies shine. They have a distinctive, buttery flavor, as well as a dense texture. If you're looking for a cookie that crumbles, shortbread is calling your name. Not only are shortbread cookies easy to eat, they're easy to bake. Just keep your butter at the right temperature, and your shortbread should be good to go. 

But if you'd rather switch things up, you can also play with your shortbread's flavors. You can easily make a millionaire's shortbread with the addition of all kinds of goodies, like chocolate and caramel. And the flavors don't stop with the sweets. Beyond classic cookie additions — like chocolate chips, nuts, and fruits — spices hold their own in cookies. In fact, one particular spice brings a new flavor and tartness to your shortbread. 

This spice originates in the Middle East, but can take over your kitchen with a distinctive, yet delicious, flavor.

Sumac lends a spiced, tart flavor to your favorite sweets

As a spice, sumac works great in savory dishes, especially if they're starch-based. But although sumac pairs well with savory fare, it works just as well in desserts. So, if you're interested in baking with sumac, there's no better place to start than shortbread cookies. And, if you're not interested in baking with sumac, maybe you should be.

Here's why: Sumac comes ground and tart — and functions similarly to citrus when used in cookie recipes. In addition, it has a sour, acidic taste that is not unlike that of a lemon, so it's versatile and delicious.Unlike lemon, however, sumac adds a trademark tartness in the form of a spice, rather than a liquid. It is therefore all the easier to use sumac in baking, because it doesn't throw off a recipe's liquid ratios. 

To bake with sumac, simply incorporate a few tablespoons into your shortbread recipe. And, for extra flavor, add a final sprinkle of sumac to the top of your cookies.