picnics and shortbread

April 21 2017

21 April 2017. Sometimes, you need a soak in a tub or a long walk. Both can go a long way towards clearing your head. But, sometimes, shortbread is the only answer. With building blocks of butter and enough flour to act as cement, it has no substitute. Its butteriness is the focus, and all other flavors exist only as bolsters. When the first crumbs hit your tongue, all noise fades into the background. For a few seconds, it's just rich sweetness with the occasional burst of salt. 

We recently discovered a shortbread that keeps external noise at bay for a satisfyingly long time. Its fine crumb has a slight chew, and the rosemary accent bucks tradition and makes people's eyes widen with surprise before they close with pleasure.

Made mostly in the food processor, the batter come together quickly, dumps (culinary term) into a pan, and gets expediently pressed down for baking. In short, it's delicious, unique, and the perfect end to a simple and fuss-free meal.

Rosemary Shortbread : Recipe from The New York Times

2 cups all-purpose flour 
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted cold butter, cut into 1-inch chunks

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, rosemary and salt. Add butter and pulse to fine crumbs. Pulse a few more times until some crumbs start to come together, but don't overprocess. Dough should not be smooth.

2. Press dough into an ungreased 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan or 9-inch pie pan. Prick dough all over with a fork. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes for 9-inch pan, 45 to 50 minutes for 8-inch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cut into squares, bars or wedges while still warm.

Image: Linen Denim Napkins and Grey Chambray Linen Blanket