Monday, April 27, 2009

Rosemary shortbread

Makes about 20 biscuits

Usually associated with savoury dishes, rosemary is a great, robust winter herb that can give shortbread a different dimension, at this time of year when new shoots might just be appearing in your garden is the ideal season for this recipe.

340g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
¼ tsp fine sea salt
225g unsalted butter, softened
140g caster sugar, plus extra to sprinkle
2 tblsp chopped rosemary leaves

Sift the flour with the salt. Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy.

Turn the mixer to its lowest setting and add the rosemary then the flour, a little at a time. Stop mixing as soon as the dough comes together. Shape the dough into a flattened ball, wrap in cling film and chill for at least 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. For bars, gently pack the dough into a lightly buttered Swiss roll tin. Score the surface to mark out bars and prick all over with a fork. For biscuits, roll out the dough on a lightly floured board to 5-7mm thick.

Stamp out the biscuits using a cookie cutter, and then transfer to two lightly buttered baking sheets, leaving a little space between each biscuit. Prick each biscuit with a fork.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until pale golden. Let the shortbread cool on the tray for 10 minutes until firm, then transfer to a wire rack for them to cool completely.

Sprinkle with caster sugar, if you like. Keep in an airtight container.