As someone who tends to veer away from making more traditional fare (think sponge, pavlova, roast lamb), I don’t think I’d ever actually made shortbread before; at least not for a very long time. But lately I have developed a fascination with it, and after discovering a recipe with rosemary and walnuts, was intrigued enough to give it a try.
I guess anything with rosemary in the title interests me, considering that I like to make use of our healthy and thriving rosemary bush. Whilst everything else suffered through summer and shut down in winter, this bush has just kept on growing and thriving, producing leaves with a dark green lustre, and even now pretty lavender blooms in spring.
I love the crispness that is created with this much butter and the flavour combination of rosemary and walnut that is almost savoury, not overly sweet. But the thing I love best about this recipe is that once you have made the dough and wrapped it in plastic, it can be chilled in the fridge from one hour up to several days, until there is time to slice into discs and bake.
Rosemary and Walnut Shortbread
From BBC GoodFood
325g (2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
200g (7 oz) salted butter (if using unsalted, add a pinch of salt)
125g (3/4 cup) caster sugar
2 egg yolks
2 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
60g (a heaped ½ cup) walnuts, finely chopped
Put the flour and butter in a food processor and whizz until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Add the sugar, egg yolks and rosemary and whizz to a dough. Tip onto a lightly floured work surface and knead in the walnuts. Shape into a log about 5cm across. Wrap in plastic and chill for an hour.
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/fan 160/gas 4. Slice the dough into 8mm (3/8 inch) thick rounds and arrange on a paper-lined baking tray. Place tray on middle shelf of oven, and bake for 20 minutes, or until light golden brown. Once cooked, remove to a wire rack to cool completely before eating or storing.
Best accompanied by a cup of hot tea… after all, some traditions are worth preserving! xo