There is no better herb than Rosemary. Yes, basil is an herb and no it is not better. Mint, well it’s a close second..but still no. It’s like this…rosemary can grow inside your home through the winter while basil, mint and all those other lovely tasting and smelling herbs frankly leave you high and dry. Yes, you can get them at the supermarket, no that is not the same. Homegrown folks, say it with me….homegrown herbs…they are the best. My rosemary plant is in my home office, which is right next to my kitchen equal easy access for munching when I walk by and for cooking. The thing about rosemary too is when you chew on one of those leaves they last a little while sort of like gum, but with your teeth are not sugar-coated afterwards. I love homemade french fries and roasted potatoes cooked with a bit of olive oil and rosemary, absolutely delicious.
While thumbing through my newish copy of Joanne Chang’s Flour cookbook I found a lot of good recipes, but this one for Rosemary Shortbread stood out. Cookies (one of my favorite food groups) and Rosemary together, seriously game on. Plus, the recipe is so simple. A couple friends knew I was making these this weekend so missus here you are…
Rosemary Shortbread from Joanne Chang’s Flour
1 cup (2 sticks/228 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup (110 grams) packed light brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (65 grams) cornstarch
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
Using a standard mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer or a wooden spoon), cream the butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and pale. (This step will take 3 to 4 minutes if using a handheld mixer and about 5 minutes if using a spoon.) Add the sugar and beat on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Stop the mixer a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar. On low speed, add the egg yolk and rosemary and beat for about 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and then mix just until the flour mixture is totally incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed. Stop the mixer several times to scrape the bowl and the paddle to free any trapped flour mixture.
Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and wrap the dough in the plastic wrap, pressing down to form a disk about 8 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Refrigerate the dough for about 20 minutes, or until it is firm enough to roll out.
Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 325 degrees F.
On a floured work service, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 12 by 10 inches and 1/4 inch thick. Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 12 to 15 uniform pieces – rectangles, triangles, or cookie-cutter shapes – and arrange them on a baking sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart. (At this point, the cookies can be tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 2 weeks. Bake as directed directly from the freezer. You may need to add a few minutes to the baking time.)
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are medium golden brown all the way through. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.