Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Rosemary Shortbread

"There's rosemary, that's for rememberance."
----Shakespeare's Hamlet to Ophelia

This was my most popular cookie last Christmas. Shortbread is traditional for Christmas and always a crowd pleaser. The idea of adding rosemary to a cookie seemed odd to me, but at the same time I was so intrigued I couldn't resist trying it. Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs and we have a nice shrub of it growing in our border garden.

Tradition says that rosemary will grow for 33 years, until it reaches the height of Christ when he was crucified, then it will die. Sprigs of rosemary were placed under pillows at night to ward off evil spirits and bad dreams. The wood was used to make lutes and musical instruments.

Scientists are now saying that the scent of rosemary is an effective memory stimulant.

All I know is I loved the beautiful aroma I experienced as I cut a few stems, brought them in, rinsed and placed them upon my cutting board, and proceeded to mince them very finely.

Rosemary Shortbread
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
2/3 cups sugar
2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh, rosemary
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. sugar for topping

Cream the butter and the 2/3 cups sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, salt, and rosemary until well blended. The dough will be soft. Bring together into a disk, wrap, and refrigerate for about an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 13x9 inch baking pan. Press the dough into the pan evenly, smoothing as you go. (This part is very fun so take your time.) Once you are satisfied with the eveness, prick holes all about the dough.

Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking, until the edges are just becoming golden. Cool the shortbread completely before cutting into squares or rectangles, or triangles as I did.
I am sending this to Food Blogga for Susan's 3rd Annual Christmas Cookie Event

1 comment:

  1. Rosemary certainly does have a lot going for it, doesn't it? ;) I love the idea of adding it to shortbread and would gladly pair it with anything from mulled cider to coffee to wine. Thanks so much!