Thursday, December 23, 2010

Rosemary-Citrus Scottish Shortbread

Posted by - elena gustavson

I love shortbread. Easy to make, buttery, fragrant and perfect with a hot cup of...something.

Apparently, it is customary to serve shortbread on the Winter Solstice (also called Imbolc) or on New Year's Eve. The round shape, marked with the tine of a fork around the edges, is meant to symbolize the sun for these dark of days of winter and the Scotts would carry them to neighbors and family in celebration.

Because i was making two batches, one plain and one with the herbs and citrus, I doubled a simple, plain Scottish Shortbread recipe I found in the King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook and it worked beautifully to fold in the variations at the end. I chilled the doughs for 2 hours and pressed into pie tins, baking at 325F for about 20 minutes.

Not having any fresh oranges on hand for zest, I used orange oil and just a bit of lemon zest. The finished shortbread is crumbly, tender and very fragrant. I'll be putting wedges in gift boxes for friends and eating the rest with a cup of spicy chai tea this afternoon!

King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook
p 343, Scottish Shortbread (with my variations)

1 cup (2 sticks) good quality, unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar (calls for confectioners, but I used evaporated cane)
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cups King Arthur All Purpose flour
 1 Tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
2 tsp orange/lemon zest or 1 tsp orange oil

Pre-heat your oven to 325F

Cream butter with sugar, add salt and flour, then rosemary and zest/oil, working these ingredients into a soft dough by hand. Chill for a couple of hours or overnight.

Press dough into a round 9 inch pie plate and notch the edges. Score the dough by cutting halfway through it to divide the shortbread into 6 or 8 pie shaped pieces.

Bake until firm and barely golden. (The recipe says 1/2 to 1 hour, but mine was ready in 20 minutes.)


Rena said...

They sound delicious! I like the idea of using herbs. :)

pfeffernc said...

Thanks for sharing the history. That's interesting. And your shortbread looks yummy!

Jess @ Bakericious said...

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family!

Elena G. said...

Three days later and the shortbread is still yummy and fresh tasting. Didn't expect that! Really loving the rosemary-citrus combination and will do it again. Thanks for the kind comments and warm holiday wishes to everyone!

Sweet and Savory said...

I am enjoying seeing the different variations all of the group made. This is a nice change in flavors.