Baking (and eating!) shortbread at Christmastime is absolutely mandatory. As is watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, enjoying Baileys in hot chocolate, and singing along to Christmas Elvis. Is it me or is he
Don't be freaking that there is rosemary in my shortbread, okay? You'll be down with the woodsy/savory/ sweet/buttery concoction of goodness after one bite, promise.
These cookies taste like Christmas.
My first taste was well over 10 years ago, when a pastry chef I was working with made a batch. This is her Grandma's recipe and she was gracious enough to share with me back then. 'Tis the season of sharing after all, so think of this as my little prezzie to you. These cookies will flatter any dessert platter and will gather rave reviews and recipe requests, even from people who were at first scared of the rosemary. Trust me. Don't be freaking about the 2 cups of butter either...this makes a massive batch of about 75 cookies. And because there's oatmeal in them they are practically health food. No bubble bursting, please!
I rather like rolling the dough out and cutting it into various shapes. Stars are always good. I don't see why you couldn't roll the dough into logs, chill, then slice and bake too. That would probably save time, if you are lacking in that department (who isn't, really?). One of the best things is the smell emanating from the oven while you bake these babies off...rosemary...butter...sugar. Keep an eyeball on them so they don't burn - once they start to brown around the edges I take them out, because over-browned shortbread does nothing for me. A light dusting of icing sugar and you'll have the prettiest cookies in town. Elvis would definitely approve.
Rosemary Oatmeal Shortbread
2 cups of salted butter (if using unsalted, add about 1/2 tsp salt to batter)
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
2 1/2 cups large flake oatmeal (not the small instant stuff, please)
In a mixer, cream the butter an sugar until fluffy. Beat in the fresh rosemary. On low, add the flour and oatmeal. Mix until all is incorporated.
On a lightly floured surface, fold the dough into a ball, flatten and roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Having a little flour on your rolling pin helps too. Cut into shapes and place cookies on parchment lined bake sheets. In a preheated 350* oven, bake for about 11 minutes, or until edges start to turn brown. Remove from oven and cool. Repeat with remaining dough. Once all cookies are baked and have cooled down, dust with icing sugar. Makes about 75 cookies. They freeze rather well, too.
And how cute do these look all packed up in a pretty tin? Your loved ones will be overJOYed!