Monday, December 9, 2013

Rosemary Shortbread

I found this simple shortbread cookie recipe in the Chicago Tribune last year around the holiday season, and it has quickly become one of my family's favorites.  I slightly tweaked the recipe (I added a touch of vanilla and a dusting of pink salt crystals on top) and I'm very happy with the outcome.  The vanilla gives it a more balanced flavor and I love the subtle touch of color and taste from the salt.  Cornmeal may seem like an odd ingredient for a cookie, but it gives this shortbread a crunchy, gritty, yet pleasing texture.  The fresh rosemary adds a savory taste and aroma that works magic into this cookie.

I'm not a fan of sweet, gooey cookies and tend to favor those that go well with a hot cup of coffee.   Almost all of my cookie recipes are low in sugar, but over the top with flavor.  But I have to warn you, it is nearly impossible to eat just one of these cookies, but I wish you luck in trying.

Rosemary shortbread

2 cups flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Himalayan pink salt crystals (or coarse sea salt)

1.  In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal and salt.

2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a bowl with a hand mixer, beat together butter and sugar. Mix in egg yolks and vanilla, then rosemary. Add dry ingredients and mix just until dough holds together.

3.  Roll dough into 2 logs, each about 6 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Wrap with cling and chill until firm, at least 1 hour.

4. Slice logs into 1/4-inch thick disks. Settle shortbread disks on parchment-lined baking sheets; sprinkle and press a small amount of the coarse salt into the cookie. Slide into a 350-degree oven, and bake until golden at the edges, about 11 - 12 minutes.

Cool and Enjoy!

 "The Greatest Wealth is Health" - Virgil
"Let Food be thy Medicine and Medicine be thy Food." - Hippocrates