Saturday, June 16, 2012

Rosemary-Lemon Cookies

We asked a good friend of ours who is expecting twin girls this summer if she was having any cravings. She was ecstatic about all kinds of sweets, especially the rosemary shortbread someone she knew made recently, and that sounded really good to us, too, right about now.

There's so much rosemary flourishing in the garden--big, established plants that come back even stronger each spring--and sometimes it's tough to find a use for all of it since it grows so fast. The first steps of this cookie recipe are chopping up the leaves of a fragrant fistful of just-picked rosemary and then using your hands to mix it with sugar, salt, and lemon zest; this makes the kitchen smell amazing.

The funny thing about these is they fall on that line between sweet and savory. Kind of like our hazelnut-black pepper cocktail cookies, it's your call: have them with milk or top with parmesan and  enjoy them with a glass of wine.

Rosemary-Lemon Cookies

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (stems removed; finely chopped)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (from 2 organic lemons)
1/2 cup cane sugar  (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar (like Whole Foods 365 brand)
1 egg
1/2 cup olive oil margarine (melted)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (unbleached; like Whole Foods 365 brand)
1 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum-free; like Whole Foods 365 brand)

(First, a trick for easily getting the leaves of the rosemary off the stems: press the stems into your cutting board and the leaves will flatten, allowing you to cut a bunch of them off the stem at once. Pulling them off bit by bit is too much of a pain!)

Combine rosemary, salt, lemon zest, cane sugar, and brown sugar in a bowl. Mix it well and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the egg and then add the margarine and vanilla and stir. Pour in the sugar-rosemary mixture and stir. Set aside. Whisk together the flour and baking powder and add to the wet ingredients. Mix until none of the flour is visible. Chill dough in a container in the freezer for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chilled dough onto lightly floured surface, flour your rolling pin, and roll out thinly to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use a cookie cutter or a glass to cut cookies. Place on 2 parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake until edges are golden brown, about 12 minutes. (Makes 24 cookies.)