As my palate evolves, I find that I am more interested in the delicate combination of savory and sweet. When things sound like they shouldn’t go well together, I want to eat them. Like the apple pie with cheddar cheese crust or these rosemary shortbread cookies. Maybe the excitement lies in the unchartered territory of these seemingly odd flavor combinations. Almost as if they have never existed together before. My immense desire to try new things is satiated by this new world.
These cookies are wonderfully subtle and such a delight. I made a double batch and brought half of them to a party and then stuck the rest of the dough in the freezer. The reaction from people who tried them was confusion at first, trying to understand what was in their mouth, then on to ecstasy after submitting to the strange combination of a strong robust herb mixed with a buttery, flaky cookie dusted with sugar. I can’t wait to have an occasion to make them again, especially since most of the work is already done!
Gourmet, December 2002
makes 16 cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons mild honey
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- Preheat oven to 300°F.
- Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and rosemary in a bowl.
- Mix together butter, honey, and confectioners sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at low speed, then add flour mixture and mix until dough resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Gather dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until it just comes together, about 8 times. Halve dough and form each half into a 5-inch disk. (At this point you can wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, place it in a ziploc and freeze it for later use, or you can go through step 4, placing the entire cookie sheet in the freezer and let to cookies freeze. Once frozen, place them in ziploc bags ready to bake at a moments notice. You will need to add to the baking time to make up for starting with frozen cookies. Add a couple minutes to the total baking time and keep a close eye on them.)
- Roll out 1 disk (keep remaining dough at room temperature) on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4 inch thickness. Using a round biscuit cutter, cut out as many circles as the dough allows. Place the rounds on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or a silpat.
- Bake shortbread in middle of oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. With a spatula, transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely.