Currant-Ginger Shortbreads

These pretty rectangular cookies are to my adult tongue what Sunshine Raisin Bars (remember them?) were to my kiddie tongue—a delicious bit of buttery sweetness studded with the flavor of concentrated grapes.

Look for plump, “fresh” currants brimming with flavor. If the ones on hand are shriveled and hard, steam them, uncovered, in a small dish for about 10 minutes and watch them fatten up.

The trick to chopping crystallized ginger is to use a wet, sharp knife. Cold water works best.


  • 4 ounces (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 cup (all-purpose) flour
  • pinch of fine sea salt
  • ½ cup currants
  • 1 packed tablespoon finely diced crystallized ginger (-inch bits)


  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until smooth and light, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flour, salt, currants, and ginger; mix the dough until well blended, about 3 minutes. Gather the dough into a ball and flatten slightly.
  2. Lightly flour a 12-inch-square piece of parchment paper. Place the dough on top and roll out, using a flour-dusted rolling pin, into a 10-inch square that is an even ¼ inch thick. Cover and refrigerate the dough until firm, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Move an oven rack to the middle position. Line large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Using a sharp knife, divide the dough into ten 1-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip into 1½-inch-long shortbreads; place them ½ inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Gather and roll out the scraps and cut out more shortbreads.
  5. One sheet at a time, bake the cookies until the edges are lightly golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool the cookies on the baking sheets set on wire racks.