Well, that didn’t work. But as my mom always says, “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.”
Before I get into my debacle of a baking experiment I created this morning, these shortbread cookies are amazing! As they were cooking I said to Paul, “I seriously hope these taste as good as they smell.”
We’re hosting a backyard happy hour today for a friend who just got promoted to sergeant at the Santa Barbara Police Department. She’s crazy awesome… she’s only 31 and got the job. Yeah, she’s not a slacker.
Anyway, for my cheeseboard I thought it would be fun to add a homemade touch. Yes, I don’t make my own hummus, spreads, etc. Call me lazy, because I’m totally okay with that. In searching for recipes I stumbled upon this wonderful blog that was really well written and had recipes that looked solid.
I chose the savory shortbread. Most people love buttery shortbread but aren’t use to the savory version. They tend to be a bit skeptical, if not hesitant. But their faces light up when they realize that savory shortbread is fabulous in every way.
Now for the debacle… This recipe looked and was very easy to follow. I even enjoyed mincing the rosemary and delicately placing each rosemary leaf on top of each cookie. My issue was following directions. (Shocker!)
When I pulsed the ingredients in the food processor, the dough “didn’t come together.” I added the 1/2 teaspoon of water and pulsed again. It didn’t make any difference. I thought, “Well maybe this is just what the dough is like and it’ll harden up in the fridge.” Uh, yeah no.
I wrapped up the powdery dough and placed it in the fridge. About an hour later, I took it out and it was still powdery. I was about to throw it out and call it a day, but I second guessed myself. I poured it back into the food processor and added 2 tablespoons of water. Worked like a charm!
I’m stoked I didn’t give up. These are delicious! Definitely give these a go!
Savory Herb Shortbread (recipe care of theviewfromgreatisland.com)
INGREDIENTS: 1 1/4 cups flour, 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese, 2 Tbsp finely minced rosemary leaves plus extra whole leaves for the tops of the crackers (If you like you can mince the rosemary right in the food processor first.), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp fresh cracked black pepper, 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (at room temperature), extra whole leaf herbs for laminating onto the dough
DIRECTIONS: Put the flour, cheese, rosemary, salt and pepper into the bowl of a food processor. Add the chunks of soft butter and pulse about 30 times to combine into a crumbly mixture. The process until the dough comes together, this should not take longer than 30 seconds to a minute. If the dough does not come together, add a tiny bit of water to the bowl, start with 1/2 tsp, and process again. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and bring together into a smooth flat disk, just like you do with pie crust dough. The dough should be smooth and uniform, without dry floury parts. Knead it with your hands if necessary. Wrap the disk in the plastic and refrigerate for an hour. Preheat the oven to 350F. Roll out the dough to about 1/4 to 1/8 thickness. I do this between two sheets of waxed paper and it works like a charm, no sticking. If you want to laminate herbs onto the surface of the dough, lay them out onto the dough, leaving space between. Put the waxed paper back over the top and lightly roll with your rolling pin to press the herbs right into the dough. Use a 2 inch round cookie cutter to cut out your circles. Remove the dough to a baking sheet. Reform the leftover dough, roll and repeat until all the dough is used. Bake the shortbread for 10-15 minutes, until they are just starting to turn pale golden around the edges. Cool for a few minutes on the pan, then remove to a rack. The shortbread will firm up as it cools.
Make it ahead ~ you can make the crackers up to a couple of days ahead of time, or freeze the dough.
Make it easy ~ if you don’t care about the herbs laminated on top of the crackers you can roll the dough into a log and slice and bake.
Make it pretty ~ use edible flowers in place of the herbs ~ try spicy marigold petals.
Make it with different herbs ~ I think thyme or sage would be fabulous
Make it with different cheese ~ other hard aged Italian cheeses like Asiago, Romano, or Grana Padano would work too.