This easy Rosemary Shortbread recipe is undoubtedly my favorite cookie of all time. It comes from Joanne Chang's delectable baking book, Flour, which is filled with one amazing cake, cookie, bar and pastry recipe after another. Golden and tender, these simple cookies are not too sweet and veritably melt in your mouth. They have just the right amount of fresh rosemary, which lends them a sublimely delicate, savory flavor and fragrance - a more elegant cookie does not exist. I'm that sure.
I adapted the recipe by substituting sea salt for kosher salt, because I'm a salt freak, (an inherited trait shared by my brother and sister as well - thanks, Mom!). By using larger grain salt, you get little random crunchy bursts of saltiness throughout the cookie - which makes my tongue ever so happy. You can cut them in any shape you like with a good sharp knife, but I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter because I made these cookies-of-love for the men-folk in my house. Enjoy!
Just 8 ingredients needed
Serve - will keep for up to 4 days in an air-tight container
Rosemary Short Bread (Recipe adapted from Joanne Chang's Flour cookbook)
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the sugar and beat on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt and baking powder. On low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture, and mix just until flour is incorporated and dough is evenly mixed.
Scrape dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, then wrap up and press down to form an 8-inch wide, 1" thick disk. Refrigerate about 20 minutes.
On a floured board (the dough is sticky!), roll out to a 12x10-inch rectangle. Use a sharp knife or cookie cutters to cut shapes, then arrange on an ungreased or parchment paper-lined cookie sheet about 2-inches apart.
Bake on center rack in 325F oven for 15-18 minutes, or until gold brown. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 15 minutes (which lets them brown up a tad more without over-baking), then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
P.S. This dough freezes well. Cookies can be stored in airtight container for up to 4 days.
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