Toby Joe and I attended a housewarming party over the weekend and I wanted to bring some cookies. I wanted something a little different but easy enough to accomplish while entertaining my son. I chose a rosemary butter cookie. I chose them because they said spring to me.
You’re probably thinking, “She’s going to mom down a recipe from the Inn at Little Washington and not make it suck?” Truth be told, this recipe is relatively easy to begin with and probably the only simple recipe to ever come out of the Inn at Little Washington.
What you will need
- Food processor
- Parchment paper
- Cookie sheet
- Rolling pin
- A cookie cutter (I reckon you could even use a glass.)
- 2 1/2 sticks of butter (10 ounces)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of freshly chopped rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups of flour
Mom it down!
These cookies are pretty simple as is, but I was able to cut a few corners.
Take the butter out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature. (Make sure there are no cats around!) Whenever you find some extra time, pick off some fresh rosemary and chop it up. You’ll need 1 1/2 teaspoons. That amount looks like this:
Add the butter, powdered sugar, rosemary and salt and to the electric mixer. Turn it on its slowest speed until all the ingredients are creamed together.
Slowly add the flour. It might glob up a bit. You may need to take a spoon and pull it away from the blades.
Remove the dough from the mixer, separate it into two or three flat discs and wrap each one in plastic wrap. Put each one in the refrigerator. You’re done! Walk away. Ignore it! Wash a baby bottle.
Part 1, from beginning to end (including cleanup), took me 15 minutes. While I was chopping and mixing, Emory baked his own treats from his highchair.
You should refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes. I left mine in for hours and hours because I didn’t find more time again until later that afternoon.
Preheat your oven to 300. (Please see my notes later regarding temperature.)
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Remove the dough from the refridgerator. It’s going to be a little hard to handle. Let it sit at room temperature until it’s easier to roll out. (But not too long or it might become too sticky!)
Roll the dough out onto a floured surface. The dough tends to warm quickly, and as it warms, it will stick. But since you’ll probably be in a hurry anyway, this shouldn’t be too hard to accommodate.
Cut the cookies out and place them on your baking sheet. I added orange zest to the top of mine. This added a nice color and a subtle flavor.
Bake for 15 minutes. (The final cookie will be a light golden color.)
Overcoming Obstacles and Pointers for Success
Oven temperature and consistency
The first batch of cookies I made weren’t as flakey as I would have liked. They tasted great, but they were too moist. To fix this, I upped the temperature to 320 and baked them for a couple of minutes longer. Basically, I kept an eye on them until the edges began to hint at brown. The second batch turned out much better. So, you may want to keep an eye on them.
Managing the dough
Although the recipe doesn’t suggest as much, I think you’ll find the dough easier to manage if you separate it into two or three discs. This helped me out a lot. I was able to make smaller batches at a time, which helped keep the dough from sticking to the surface (less dough meant rolling, cutting and removing the cookies faster). It also meant less prep time so I could tend to Emory between each bake.
I honestly don’t know how to keep dough from sticking. I am told that having a cold surface works best to alleviate this. And I’m told marble might be the best material to use. We have concrete counter tops at our apartment. They were not cooled first, so I am not sure if this would have helped. Be mindful of it. That’s all.
If your dough starts to stick, the good news is, you can easily pull it up and refrigerate it again. Basically, you get to start over. I’m not sure how forgiving it is as I only did this once, but it didn’t cause me any problems.
HANDLE WITH CARE!
Lastly, the baked cookies are extremely delicate. They do not travel well. If you’re going to bring them to a party, make sure they are on a single layer and on a plate. I put mine in a box wrapped in parchment paper, which would have been just fine had I not dropped the bag on our way out the door. Most all of the cookies on the bottom layer were shattered.
I added orange zest to the top of my cookies. It added a nice splash of color and said spring to me.
In the future, I think I’ll try chopped sage especially in the fall. I think chopped tarragon might be nice in winter. And black pepper might be an awesome addition to try as well. While the cookies are delicate and can only handle small particles or they risk falling apart, the flavor is very open minded. I reckon it will pair well with a number of fresh spices. (I may even try some cheddar cheese!)
I hope that you give these a shot! And let me know if you figure out ways to mom it down even more.
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