There are a handful of things that get me through a long workday: coffee, good coworkers who become lasting friends, the sweet release of walking out into the city lights at dusk and of course, snacks. Sweet or savory, a snack can unequivocally recharge my focus. The other day I took a coffee break at a new cafe downstairs and they were peddling light, savory cakes with just a hint of sweetness–the perfect accompaniment to a dark, rich coffee. The fellowship of honey, butter and rosemary cast its sweet magic on the tongue and lingered like a spell. I knew as soon as I walked out that I had to try my hand at a batch. I have only baked a few times in my life, but this week I knew it was time to strengthen my repertoire. Because this quick shortbread was such a success, I might actually tackle a few more baked goods that I’ve had my eye on.
Adapted from Rosemary Shortbread recipe from Epicurious
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons mild honey
- 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- Garnish: small rosemary sprigs
- Special equipment: parchment paper
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and rosemary in a bowl.
Mix together butter, honey, and confectioners sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at low speed (or if you’re like me, with your electric muscles), then add flour mixture and mix until dough resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Gather dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until it just comes together, about 8 times. Halve dough and form each half into a 5-inch disk.
Roll out 1 disk (keep remaining dough at room temperature) between 2 sheets of parchment into a 9-inch round (trim as necessary). Remove top sheet of parchment and transfer dough on bottom sheet of parchment to a baking sheet. Score dough into 8 wedges by pricking dotted lines with a fork, then mark edges decoratively. Arrange rosemary sprigs (if using) decoratively on top of dough, pressing lightly to help adhere, and sprinkle dough with 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar.
Repeat for second disk.
Bake both disks in middle of oven until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Slide shortbread on parchment to a rack and cool 5 minutes. Transfer with a metal spatula to a cutting board and cut along score marks with a large heavy knife.