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If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s fakeness. Hate me, ignore me, laugh at me, whatever – as long as you’re being honest and you mean it. Just please, if you have any heart, don’t put on for me.
Don’t tell me you like A when you hate A. Don’t tell me you do B when you don’t. Just, for heaven’s sake, be real. That’s it, that’s all I ask.
The thing is, being authentic, and always acting with sincerity, is harder than it sounds.
Take work, for example:
Do I always want to go to work in the morning? No, of course not. Sometimes my bed feels positively warm and wonderful and all I want is to stay in it a bit longer. I’ll still go to work, though.
And when I do go to work, I can’t very well announce to every person I see, “Just so you know, I’m pretty tired and cranky this morning, so I don’t want to be here.”
So here I am, hypocrite and hypocrite-hater, wishing for the very thing in other people that I am in want of, wishing for people to be more real, in some sense of the word, without necessarily being open and honest about everything.
You may not think it at first, but this is kind of what I’m starting to like about rosemary, or really, food in general. It’s both honest and dishonest. It’s exactly as it seems and then, suddenly, not what you thought it was at all.
All my life, rosemary has been one thing – a woody, fragrant herb that works nicely in focaccia or marinades or with potatoes.
Certainly not with fish, No, thank you. Certainly not with cakes or pie. And honestly, I’m sure I would have told you: Certainly not in cookies.
Now, I’d reason that lavender in a cookie is a far more reasonable ingredient. It’s floral, subtle, and a lovely addition to a dainty dessert.
But rosemary is a funny herb. With its pointy needles, extending from stems and deepening from green to purple in color, its branches look a little like tiny Christmas trees.
And the smell – it’s so powerful, so knock-you-over strong, that it’s positively arresting.
In many ways, rosemary’s also something of a surprise, because it’s primed for many uses that are far from ordinary. I just found a recipe for buttermilk and rosemary ice cream, for example. But is this appetizing?
Before you say no, ask yourself: Could it be interesting? Could it be different? Could it be delicious?
Without trying it, you just won’t know. And that, essentially, is why you need to try this recipe for rosemary cookies, of all things. Who would’ve thought to put a strong and typically savory herb into a sable-style cookie? (Well, Martha Stewart, who else?)
These cookies are fantastic. No, better than that, they’re outstanding! No, near perfection!
What they do especially well, beyond the sheer pleasure of their texture and perfect crunch as you bite in, is a subtle combination of both sweet and salty flavor.
The recipe’s coarse salt works with the rosemary to make these sweet, sugary cookies savory. And oh, are they ever! Try them. It’s enough to make a food adventurer out of all of us.
These aren’t the prettiest baked goods in the world, but they sure are tasty!
The recipe is slightly adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies.
Martha Stewart’s Cookies available in Paperback and Kindle from Amazon
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Gather all of your ingredients into one place and create your mise en place.
Chop your rosemary leaves into fairly fine pieces. Note that you’ll want to remove the stems.
Step 2 – Mix the Ingredients
First, add the butter and and sugar into the bowl of a good quality stand mixer. Beat for several minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy and then add the whole egg and vanilla.
Turn the machine down to low and add the flour, rosemary, and salt. Mix to combine the ingredients.
Step 3 – Shape and Freeze
Remove the dough from the mixer and split it into two parts. Shape each into a log just under 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
Wrap each log in parchment paper and freeze it until it is solid, for about an hour or so.
Step 4 – Cut and Bake
Preheat your oven to 375°F.
Remove the frozen logs from the parchment paper and use a good quality chef’s knife to cut into thinnish slices, about 45 equally sized pieces per log.
At this point you can lightly brush on the beaten egg white and coat the cookies with a little extra granulated sugar, but this is completely optional.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet(s) and place on a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes.
You’ll end up with about 90 crunchy and wonderfully flavored treats that everybody, and I mean everybody, will love.
Note: I do eat other things besides cookies, I assure you, not that you could tell from my blogging this week. Mom, if you’re reading…
It’s just that I really, really love cookies and find it easy to write about them. I didn’t think you’d mind. One bite of these beauties, and you’ll be a cookie convert, too.
And be sure to check out these other tasty rosemary infused recipes:
- Roasted Rosemary Carrots with Honey Glaze
- Homemade Parmesan and Rosemary Crackers
- Rosemary Lemon Bundt Cake with Goat Cheese Frosting
What about you? Do you have any favorite recipes that use rosemary or other aromatics in an unorthodox manner? Tell us about it in the comments below!
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Photos by Mike Quinn unless otherwise noted, © Foodal / Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published September 3rd, 2008 by Shanna Mallon. Revised and updated December 10th, 2017, with additional writing by Mike Quinn.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.