So I have been reviewing the Flour cookbook from Flour Bakery owner Joanne Chang, and I decided to make a batch of the Rosemary Shortbread. These cookies came out wonderful although I did not find myself addicted to them as much as Joanne did.
Since we went to Trader Joe’s on Saturday, I picked up some fresh rosemary there. All the rest of the ingredients were in the pantry. I took the butter out of the refrigerator before we left for dinner, and by the time we returned it had come to room temperature. Since we were watching a BluRay movie on Saturday night, I decided to prepare the dough at the same time.
1 cup (2 sticks/228 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (110 grams) packed light brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
11/2 cups (210 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (65 grams) cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a handheld mixer or a wooden spoon), cream the butter on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until light and pale. (This step will take 3 to 4 minutes if using a handheld mixer and about 5 minutes if using a spoon.) Add the sugar and beat on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Stop the mixer a few times and use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and the paddle to release any clinging butter or sugar. On low speed, add the egg yolk and rosemary and beat for about 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined.
2. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking powder. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and then mix just until the flour mixture is totally incorporated and the dough is evenly mixed. Stop the mixer several times to scrape the bowl and the paddle to free any trapped flour mixture.
3. Scrape the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and wrap the dough in the plastic wrap, pressing down to form a disk about 8 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. Refrigerate the dough for about 20 minutes, or until it is firm enough to roll out.
4. Position a rack in the of the oven, and heat the oven to 325 degrees.
5. On a floured work surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 12 by 10 inches and 1/4 inch thick. I placed the dough into a 8″ x 10″ pan and pressed it to 1/4″ thickness. This would allow me to bake the shortbread in the classic manner, and then simply slice the cookies to the length I desired once cooled. (At this point, the cookies can be tightly wrapped and frozen for up to 2 weeks. Bake as directed directly from the freezer. You may need to add a few minutes to the baking time.)
6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until the cookies are medium golden brown all the way through. Let cool on the baking sheet on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Rosemary Shortbread from Flour by Joanne Chang