14 January 2011

That's for Remembrance

Is it really possible I haven't baked or eaten anything sweet since last August? According to this blog, that's the case.

I haven't completely forgotten about desserts, even though it's been pretty quiet in my kitchen, and I have been drinking enough tea to kill a small horse. In fact, when I was gifted with a healthy bunch of rosemary after a dinner party this past weekend, I got straight to work. (After an American Apparel-style photo shoot with it, of course.)

So here are two different takes on rosemary cookies- both delicate in texture but heady with the woodsy, piney essence of the herb. The pine nut version is a bit more involved (and as only Martha Stewart can do- which is where the recipe is originally from- annoyingly calls for a few tablespoons of heavy cream), but it's worth it. It is getting some serious competition from the shortbread this morning, however, with all its rich, crumbly simplicity.

Pine Nut-Rosemary Cookies
Makes: about 3 dozen.

1 generous tablespoon chopped rosemary
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted, plus more for topping
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 egg, at room temperature

1. Heat oven to 325°. Finely chop rosemary in food processor; add pine nuts and pulse until coarsely ground. Stir in 2 cups flour, baking soda, ginger and salt; set aside.

2. Beat together butter and sugar with mixer on high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in oil; reduce speed to low and add flour mixture. Add cream; mix until well combined. Mix in egg, then remaining 1/4 cup flour.

3. Shape dough into scant 1-inch balls and place on baking sheets. Flatten each slightly with fingers, and press one pine nut into top. Bake until edges are golden, about 13 minutes. Let cookies cool, on sheets, at least 10 minutes to firm up.

Rosemary Shortbread

In large bowl, stir together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup finely chopped rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Using a pastry cutter, cut in 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer to 10 x 8-inch baking pan, pressing to smooth top. Let sit at room temperature for 2 hours, then heat oven to 375° (350° if using glass pan). Bake until pale golden, 20-30 minutes. Score shortbread into squares while still warm; let cool completely then cut.

After you bake both and decide on your favorite, the true challenge begins: tea pairing. Try a darker oolong (Oriental Beauty or a Wuyi) with either; it cuts through all that butter but still lets the rosemary taste sing.


anna said...

Rosemary is one of my favorite flavors for shortbread. Nice and savory :)

Anonymous said...

They(Linus Pauling Institute) say that tea consumption should be limited to a liter(10, 4 oz. cups) a day. The concern is the fluoride content. I was told, "Don't mess with another monkey's monkey."

Snow-globe said...

Mmmm rosemary shortbread. Can't wait to try that!