Wednesday, September 12, 2012

short and sweet

When I was a little girl my mom and I had a few food rituals. On summer days we would have picnics outside under a shady tree. Our basket was usually full of cheese straws and super big salads. In the winter we would make huge pots of chili and eat it with tiny oyster crackers. But no matter what the time of year, if my mother wanted to reward me with something special, she would take me to the cookie shop. I would always get the same thing. No chocolate chunks or candy filled cookies for me. I wanted a plain shortbread cookie. They were sweet, but not too sweet. And the buttery bits would just melt in my mouth. 

I may have outgrown my trips to the cookie shop, but I haven't outgrown my love of shortbread cookies. And thanks to a good harvest of rosemary from my yard and a wonderful recipe from The Church Cook I have learned a whole new way to enjoy the.

To make your own you will need the following:
2 sticks butter, room temperature
¾ cup sugar, extra for dusting
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
2 teaspoons grated Meyer lemon zest
2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, mix until blended. Add the rosemary, lemon zest salt and flour and mix well. Divide dough in half and shape into log. Roll logs up in wax paper about 1 ½ inch in diameter. Chill for at least 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut logs into ¼ inch slices, roll in sugar and place on parchment covered baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are pale brown.

I only had regular lemons on hand, but the cookies were still wonderful. They were sweet, but not too sweet, just like I remembered. But this time I got to treat my own kids to this food tradition. Wouldn't you know it, they thought the cookies were pretty special too.


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