“Christmas cookies and happy hearts, this is how the holiday starts…”
Christmas is about rituals. I am that person that attempts to send 2 dozen hand-written Christmas cards around the globe. They never make it in the mail box until the 22nd, and every year, I vow to start earlier. I look for the Christmas tree guy to set-up shop in the empty lot up my street, and try to haul the heftiest noble fir home, only to find that I can barely get it through the door. I wrestle the tree to sit in its stand; much to the chagrin of my parents who beg me to choose a “smaller tree” every year. You get the picture, I’m a slave to re-creating the “Martha Stewart” magic of the season.
My kitchen turns into a cookie factory at Christmas. Over the course of a night or two, I’ll churn out hundreds of cookies from gingersnaps to shortbread. I tuck them tightly into glass jars before sealing them with a ribbon and a label.
I prefer savoury to sweet, which is why I’m a fan of shortbread that makes good with cheese and herbs. Here’s a tried and true recipe for Rosemary Parmesan Shortbread. The fragrance of the rosemary really comes through, while the confectioner’s sugar adds just the amount of sweetness to cut through the sharpness of the parmesan.
While the cards never make it on time, the cookies always do.
Rosemary Parmesan Shortbread
Recipe courtesy of Food Network
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 tsp water (if needed)
1) Put the flour, sugar, rosemary, salt and parmesan into the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.
2) Add the butter and pulse until a soft dough forms; the dough should hold together when squeezed with your hands. If not add water and pulse until combined.
3) Spread a large piece of plastic wrap and spread the dough onto it. Using the plastic wrap as a guide, form the dough into a loose log along 1 edge of the long side of the sheet.
4) Roll the log, twisting the plastic gathered at the ends in opposite direction until the dough is tight and compact; about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about an hour.
5) Preheat over to 375F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the dough log into 1/3 inch thick slices and arrange onto the baking sheet, about an inch apart.
6) Bake until the edges just begin to brown, about 12-14 mins.
7) Cool the shortbread on the pan for 5 mins. Transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store the shortbread in airtight containers at room temperature.