shortbread with candied lemon and rosemary
I am generally not a cookie person. I like baking cookies, but I don’t like eating them all that much - too sweet, usually, and too much stuff crammed in. I am boring; I would rather eat a sugar cookie or a gingersnap than a three-kinds-of-chocolate/craisin/nut extravaganza.
This shortbread is a happy medium between my eight-year-old-girl cookie tastes and those of more discerning people. As shortbread should, it tastes first and foremost of good butter. It is only lightly sweet, in pleasing layers: sweet/bitter candied lemon; barely-sweet cookie; a purely sweet sanding layer on top. It is interesting, what with the herb and the complicated citrus, but not overly so. It has a light, sandy texture but it’s not a mess to eat. Best of all, it skips all the messiness of rolling and cutting sticky shortbread dough; you just spread it in a pan and bake. Easy!
Shortbread fingers with candied lemon and rosemary
Butter a quarter-size sheet pan and line it with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 325 F.
- 315 g all-purpose flour
- 50 g chopped candied lemon
- two or three tablespoons of chopped rosemary
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 340 g (3 sticks) room-temperature sweet butter
at medium speed in a mixer with a paddle until light-colored and full of air; 3 minutes or so. Add:
- 110 g confectioner’s sugar
and beat until all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is fluffy; 2 minutes. Add the flour mixture and stir on low speed just until combined. The dough will be very soft, but should not feel wet or greasy.
Spread evenly in the prepared baking sheet with an offset spatula. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until the shortbread has barely begun to color at the edges.
Set the pan on a rack; sprinkle immediately with granulated or sanding sugar. Use a thin knife or metal spatula to cut into fingers while still hot. Let cool completely in the pan.