Thursday, August 11, 2016

Sweet Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Sometimes cookies are a great way to say "Thank You". Recently I baked these to say just that for some friends who had done some very lovely favors for us. 
We have a couple of huge Rosemary plants that seem to thrive with little to no attention and this was a great way to use a normally savory ingredient in a sweet treat. I have to say, I was more than a bit skeptical about it, but the results were outrageously great cookies. 
I baked one batch skipping the sugar coating on the edges. Learn from my experience - they were not as good.  Use the coarse sugar on the edges. It makes all the difference. 
Be sure to chop th Rosemary very finely. I found that this was another great place to use the small "drink" sized blender that stays on our counter. 
At the risk of being repetitive, bake them on parchment lined baking sheets. Time and again I have found that parchment is key to getting a more evenly baked cookie that is not overly browned on the bottom. 
Lastly, this dough keeps well in the freezer. Which means, you can mix it ahead of time and bake them when you are ready; when you have surprise visitors, need a quick treat, or need to say "Thank You".  
P.S. Write the baking instructions on the paper wrapped dough, attach a simple card with the recipe & tie up the ends with cute ribbon and it makes a wonderful housewarming gift or a sweet present for new parents! 

Sweet Rosemary Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter, softened to room temp
3/4 cup sugar
1 Egg
1tsp Vanilla
3/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1T Fresh Rosemary finely chopped
Coarse sugar (for edges) 

Put the butter & sugar in the bowl of a mixer & beat until pale and fluffy. 
Add the egg, salt, & vanilla mix at medium speed until well combined. 
Add the chopped rosemary (the finest chop can be achieved by using a spice grinder or small "drink" blender) 
Mix in approximately 1/3 of the flour until well combined
Scrape sides of the bowl & repeat with the next 1/3 of the flour. 
Add the last 1/3 of the flour & complete the mixing at low speed. The dough should be firm enough to handle. 
Divide the dough into 3 (approximately) equal parts. 
While holding the dough over a sheet of waxed paper or parchment paper form it into a "log" just a bit larger than 1" in diameter (it doesn't have to be perfect here)
Place the "log" onto the paper & roll it up tightly. 
Roll the wrapped dough back & forth on a flat surface until it is a nice "cylinder" shape. (Think about all of the play dough "snakes" you made as a child) 
Now, if you are planning to bake these right away, just twist the ends of the paper and put them in the freezer for 30-45 minutes to firm up. 
The dough keeps nicely in the freezer for up to 30 days. 
If you are planning to bake them in the future, twist the ends of the paper & tie with string before freezing. 
Approximately 10 minutes before you plan to bake them, preheat the oven to 350. 
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper 
Slice dough into 1/4 inch rounds. 
Press the edges of the round into coarse sugar. (I used turbinado because it was what I had on hand, but you can find lighter colored "sanding sugar" in the baking section of your grocery) 
Place on baking sheet about 1" apart. 
Bake at 350 for 8 minutes. 
Remember that they may not look brown even when they are done. By the time they appear brown, they may be a bit over done.