Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Cooking is Cheapter than Therapy: Rosemary Shortbread

Cooking for others can be an act of love, as well as a little therapy. Cooking for yourself should also be an act of love, right? 

However, to get the best of these therapy benefits, you must plan ahead. Collect all of the ingredients and gadgets needed according to the recipe. Don't skimp. If the recipe calls for butter, then use butter not margarine. We trust cows before we trust synthetic and unnatural factory ingredients. 

Don't be in a hurry. Plan on relaxing and enjoying this adventure in the kitchen. Turn on some of your favorite music, grab a glass of wine (if you are so inclined), and even put on an apron. Now get to cooking. Therapy awaits! 

My style of recipes is fresh ingredients, classics, but now days the easier the prep work, the better. I want my finished product to look like I have been working in the kitchen all day. This recipe for Rosemary Shortbread is a classic and the amount of time it takes for you to look like a cooking diva is almost nothing.  Many thanks to LeaAnn Nelson Hughes, wine-drinking colleague and vineyard owner, for sharing her delicious recipe.

This recipe is almost fool-proof. Easy-peasy, and after your first trial, you can experiment and make it your own recipe by using different spices and herbs, nuts, seeds, and even minced dried fruits. Add more salt, depending on if you use unsalted or salted butter, or even scale it back. Add more sugar or scale it back. Use a tablespoons of honey if you want to make it a bit more sweet, and with an added flavor. Just remember it is important to always use one stick (1/2 cup) of butter for every cup of flour.

Photo Credit: New York Times
Rosemary Shortbread

1 cup of flour
1 stick of butter, chilled (1/2 cup) 
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. - 3/4 tsp. Kosher salt (depending if you used salted butter)
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Heat oven to 325 degrees. You may use the old flour/pastry cutter by hand, but even better if you have a food processor. In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, rosemary, and salt. Add butter and pulse to fine crumbs. Be careful not to over process or heat up the butter in the dough. 

Press the crumbled texture dough into an un-greased 8 - 9" square baking pan. The less you touch the dough, the better. Bake until golden brown for about 30 - 40 minutes. After baking, let the shortbread cool in the pan. Cut into squares. Serve with your favorite wine or beverage. 

Enjoy! 

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