26 March, 2012

XXXVI: Recipe I : Salted Lavender and Rosemary Shortbread

As many of you may know by now, I've been hosting tea and baked refreshments every Sunday at Miss Crabb, as a wonderful way to treat and enjoy the company of our customers. This little tradition has been going strong for two months, and I now feel as though I've been repeatedly asked to share some of the recipes -and why the hell not? A lot of them are traditional variations and mild inventions of my own, especially this little favourite -So here goes:

Salted Lavender and Rosemary Shortbread


250g Unsalted Butter, softened
1/2 Cup Icing Sugar
1/2 Cup Raw Sugar
1 Cup Cornflour
2 Cups Standard Flour
12 Lavender Heads -only the top blossoms (no leaves) 
4 Tablespoons of Rosemary Leaves 
4-5 Tablespoons of Salt -I like to use pink Rock Salt (both, powdered and crushed)

. . . . . . . . .

Preheat Oven at 150°C

Cream the butter and icing sugar together gradually until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add 2 tablespoons of powdered salt and all the raw sugar in. Continue folding and mixing.

Meanwhile, boil some water in a small saucepan to very lightly blanche the lavender heads and rosemary. After blanching, strain them and leave to dry on a towel (alternatively for five-to-ten minutes on a tray by an open oven or fireplace). Once they are relatively dry, chop the lavender heads to make the petals and seeds separate and crumble. Simply separate the single rosemary leaves -Get rid of all twigs.

Sift the cornflour and flour together in a separate bowl and then gradually mix in with the sweetened butter mixture. As you are doing this, the dough should begin to take shape -Move it all to a lightly floured board and begin kneading. Start sprinkling the rosemary leaves and chopped lavender over the dough as you knead. Make sure that it is all very well distributed.

You'll know when the dough is ready by the soft, yet malleable consistency. Flatten the dough and roll it out to an even 3cm thickness (or slightly less if you find that flat and slightly crunchy shortbread is in order). Begin cutting them in any desired shapes of cookie cutter -Ridged circles are my preferred option.

Distribute them all on a baking paper-lined tray and prick each shortbread lightly with a skewer or fork. You may then lightly sprinkle the remaining salt (or more) over them all -for this part, I prefer crushed organic pink Himalayan mineral salt. After that, you simply put them in the oven to bake at 150°C for 30 minutes or until pale golden.

Once they are ready and out of the oven, you let them cool on a rack, make a cup of Lady Grey tea and contact Areez to let him know how it all went.

. . . . . . . . . 

1 comment:

  1. Oh Areez! What a happy discovery, this recipe for all to see. Eagerly anticipating making these at home.