These flaky-tender shortbread cookies adapted from Dawn Casale's and David Crofton's One Girl Cookies are run through with bright lemon zest and rosemary—two ingredients that give these cookies a real elegance.
And there's an elegant story to go along with them: These are the cookies that Casale gave to all of the guests at her wedding. She cites not only her love of herbs in desserts, but also the Italian tradition of including rosemary in the bride's bouquet, which signifies fidelity.
But significance aside, pairing lemon with herbs in shortbread is a genius idea. Next time I'd think about swapping out the rosemary for thyme or even tarragon.
Note: Turbinado is a raw sugar with large crystals. If you can't find it, replace with demerara or any other large-grained raw sugar.
- Yield:makes 36 cookies
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:1 hour
- 3 cups (about 15 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- 16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons grated zest from 2 lemons
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Turbinado sugar (see note), for sprinkling
Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until the mixture is light yellow and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and rosemary, and mix for 30 seconds. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix for1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Mix until the dough just comes together. Do not overmix.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Dust with flour and divide in half. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a work surface, put half of the dough on the parchment, and top it with a second sheet of parchment. Roll the dough out to about 1/8-inch thickness. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Chill the dough for about 30 minutes.
Adjust oven rack to middle posision and preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the dough from the refrigerator; peel off both sheets of parchment, and put the dough on a cutting board. Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut out the dough, rerolling the scraps once. Place the cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle a pinch of Turbinado sugar on top of each cookie.
Bake the cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, until they are slightly golden around the edges. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.