Friday, November 14, 2014

Orange rosemary shortbread - becoming friends with rosemary

Orange rosemary shortbread / Amanteigados de laranja e alecrim

I have to start this text by confessing that it took me months (a quick look at Amazon shows me that I purchased the book in January, so almost a year) to make these cookies, all because I was a coward: I was afraid that all that rosemary in the dough would make the cookies taste weird.

I am thirty-five six years old and rosemary scares the bejeesus out of me: I always think that the food will end up tasting like soap. :S

I love cooking with herbs and will gladly add thyme, oregano, basil, marjoram, parsley, even cilantro to recipes without too much thought about it, for they make everything so much more delicious, but when it comes to rosemary I just can’t do it, and every time I watch Jamie Oliver adding tons of rosemary to his recipes I feel sort of desperate, my brain screams “it’s too much, too much!”. :)

I decided it was time to stop this nonsense and bought a small vase of rosemary to gradually start using the herb in my cooking, and these cookies were my first attempt at getting to know the rosemary better: they turned out delicious, the herb flavor perfectly complimented by the orange.

I feel a lot braver now. ;)

Orange rosemary shortbread
slightly adapted from the beautiful and delicious National Trust Simply Baking

½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
finely grated zest of 2 oranges
1 cup (225g/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
340g all purpose flour - I used 290g all purpose flour + 50g millet flour
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper.

Put the sugar and rosemary in a food processor and whiz until the rosemary is very finely chopped. Transfer sugar to the bowl of an electric mixer, add the orange zest and rub them together with your fingertips until sugar is fragrant. Add the butter and vanilla and beat with the mixer until pale and creamy. On low speed, beat in flour and salt. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

Roll out dough between two sheets of baking paper until 3mm thick. Use a 4cm (1½in) cookie cutter to cut out cookies – if the dough gets too soft, place it in the freezer for 5 minutes. Place cookies onto prepared sheets 2,5cm (1in) apart and prick them with a fork. Bake until lightly golden on the edges, 10-12 minutes.
Cool completely on the sheets over a wire rack. Remove carefully from the paper.

Makes about 60


CakeSpy said...

What lovely little cookies!! I am a big fan of herbs in shortbread - lavender, sage, rosemary...I can even go slightly savory with chive or something crazy. These sound just lovely.

Laura (Tutti Dolci) said...

Too funny, I love rosemary - your shortbread look delicious!

Monika said...

These look fantastic! And I completely understand your reluctance towards a rosemary! It seems so strange to think about it in desserts :) Last year I found a recipe for rosemary pear cake. Tried it - one of best cakes I ever ate :) Being brave pays off!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Monika, I would love to try that pear cake, it sounds amazing!

dina said...

i love shortbread. they look delightful!

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