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Kicking Off Cookie Season: Melissa Clark’s Rosemary Shortbread

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Rosemary Shortbread

Kick off cookie season with some new recipes, starting with Melissa Clark's Rosemary Shortbread.

Happy December! Even though it might still feel like the three-thousandth day of March, here we are, getting ready to celebrate the holidays. Which means…cookie season has begun!

I loved getting to write about two friends, Kathryn Wilson and Adele Bentsen, who have been using quarantine down-time to perfect their Christmas cookie game. You can read their fun story, The Great Cookie Tin Bake-Off. I also am so thankful to several neighbors for sharing their own favorite holiday cookie recipes in ‘Tis the Season: Our Favorite Holiday Treats.

All of that baking talk is inspiration to try a few new cookie recipes this holiday season. I want to try every one of the recipes in the two stories I just mentioned (especially Adele Bentsen’s Cranberry, Oat and White Chocolate Biscuits, which originated with Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh!). And then my brain starts working overtime, thinking about other cookie recipes I’ve seen and have wanted to try. So many cookies, so little time. 

You have to start somewhere, and I started with Melissa Clark’s Rosemary Shortbread. I am so glad I did. If you are a lover of crumbly, buttery, sweet-but-not-too-sweet shortbread, this is your cookie. The texture will have you addicted from the first bite. And the rosemary, reminiscent of winter pine, makes this particular shortbread feel sort of elegant in a holiday way. It’s an easy recipe to throw together if you need something to serve after dinner, or as a snack with tea or coffee, or just to have around the house for random sweet-tooth requests. Thank you Melissa Clark!

Melissa Clark's Rosemary Shortbread

2 cups flour
⅔ cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted cold butter, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 to 2 teaspoons rosemary, chestnut or other dark, full-flavored honey (optional)

Recipe directions: 
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar, rosemary and salt. Add the butter, and honey if desired, and pulse to fine crumbs. Pulse a few more times until some crumbs start to come together, but don't overprocess. The dough should not be smooth.

Press the dough into an ungreased 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan or a 9-inch pie pan. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes for a 9-inch pan, 45 to 50 minutes for an 8-inch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cut into squares, bars or wedges while the shortbread is still warm.


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