Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rosemary Cookies with Tomato Jam

Rosemary is one of the best-loved herbs and one of my all-time favorites. I look for ways to use it in cooking and will snap up bath and hair products at the store that contain it (some of it's medicinal uses throughout the ages have been to prevent baldness and heal wounds). I never tire of the fragrance and often use it in cooking, so there is always some rosemary in my garden. Often you can find me sitting next to the rosemary plant on my deck, sipping a glass of wine and reading.

Rosemary is also one of the ingredients in my favorite herb mix - herbs de provence. So when I came across a recipe for a polenta shortbread cookie with rosemary in David Lebovitz's "Ready for Dessert" I just had to try it. These cookies are awesome...buttery, with a sandy shortbread texture enhanced by the stone-ground cornmeal and infused with the lovely flavor of rosemary. Two of them sandwiched together with tomato jam in between is heaven! Warning -- if you bake these, have a crowd around to help you eat them 'cause they're addictive.

Rosemary Cookies with Tomato Jam from Ready for Dessert by David Lebovitz
Makes about 24 cookies

2 c. (280g) all-purpose flour
1/4 c. (40g) stone-ground yellow cornmeal or polenta
1/2 t. salt
1 c. (8 oz./225g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
10 T. (135g) sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 T. finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Tomato Jam

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal and salt.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a bowl by hand), beat together the butter and sugar at medium speed just until smooth.  Mix in the egg yolks, then the rosemary.  Add the flour mixture and mix until the dough is smooth and holds together.

On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough in half.  Shape each ball into a log about 6" (15cm) long and 1 3/4" (4 cm) in diameter.  Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 1 hour.

Position racks in the upper and lower third of the oven; preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit  (175 degrees Celsius).  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Slice the logs into disks 1/4" (6mm) thick and place the disks about 1/2" (1.5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets.

Bake, rotating the baking sheets midway through baking, until the edges of the cookies are slightly browned, about 12 minutes.  Let cool completely.

Spread a scant 1 1/2 t. of the jam on the underside of half of the cookies.  Top the jam with a second cookie, bottom side down, to make sandwiches.

Storage:  The dough can be frozen for up to 1 month.  Once filled, the cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days.  Or, store the cookies unfilled in an airtight container for several days.  Then fill when ready to serve.
P.S.  I used my own, homemade tomato jam.

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