Rosemary-Vanilla Bean Cookies

With the combination of sugar and “fleur de sel, these sweet/savory cookies would be delicious with a cold glass of milk, a cup of espresso or a glass of port.  They could also be served as part of a cheese course after dinner with a Manchego or Blue.  This recipe is a variation from the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.  Makes about 2 dozen cookies depending on size.

1 3/4 cups (8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt, sea salt or even “Fleur de Sel”
1/2 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter softened
1/2 vanilla bean split lengthwise or 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar (if using vanilla sugar use 2/3 cup minus 2 tablespoons)
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary, plus additional leaves for garnish
1 large egg
2 tablespoons heavy cream

To make cookie:  Heat the oven to 375º conventional or 350º fan assisted.  Sift together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl.  Stir in the fleur de sel.  Cream the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  (If using vanilla bean, with the tip of a knife, scrape the seeds into the butter.  Continue to beat until blended.)

Add the sugar(s) and mix until light and fluffy, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Beat in the rosemary and then beat in the egg just until blended.   On low speed beat in the flour mixture just until the dough is mixed together.  Remove the dough from the bowl and finish incorporating flour with a wooden spoon.  Flatten into a disk.  Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill it for at least 15 minutes.

Remove the plastic wrap and roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface or between 2 sheets of lightly dusted parchment paper to ¼ inch thick.  Cut out cookies into 2-inch squares, rounds or triangles.  Place them on a parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet.

Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the tops of each cookie with cream.  Then top with a leaf or two of rosemary.  Place the cookie sheets in the refrigerator to allow the cookies to chill an additional 15 minutes.

Bake the cookies for about 9-12 minutes, or until the cookies have a faint coloring around the edges.  Note: every oven is different therefore watch the first batch carefully so as not to overcook.

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