Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

You know how some people count sheep when they can’t sleep? Or count backwards from 100? Or drink a warm glass of milk?

I close my eyes and think about food. I dream about what crazy kitchen adventure I could take next. I lull myself to sleep with thoughts of butter and sugar and melty chocolate chips. If you want to know if I wake up with drool on my pillow…. I’m not telling.

Lately, I’ve been dreaming about shortbread. There is something beautifully simple about shortbread that makes it the perfect palate for adventure.

Usually, I am too lazy, broke, thrifty to go out and buy a billion new ingredients for some elaborate recipe, unless I have a very specific purpose. So, with shortbread on my mind, I looked in my fridge and saw a lonely lemon. I looked out my window and saw a pot of fresh rosemary baking in the August sun, shivering in this weird summer cold patch, and this cookie was born.

But duh, I didn’t make it up. As I am drifting off to sleep, I am usually convinced that I have invented the worlds most innovative treat. But a quick Google search in the morning usually brings me back to reality…. okay okay and provides me with a recipe as a jumping off point.

As you are falling asleep tonight, do me a favor and dream of shortbread. Then wake up in the morning, come back to this post, and bake these Lemon Rosemary Shortbread cookies.

Lemon Rosemary Shortbread
adapted from My Baking Addiction

makes about 18 small cookies

1 stick unsalted butter, slightly soft
generous 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
zest from 1 small lemon
juice from 1 small lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup AP flour
1/4 cup wheat flour
dash of salt
1 T fresh rosemary, finely chopped
sanding sugar

Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add lemon juice, zest, and vanilla, and mix until fully combined. Add in flours, salt and rosemary and mix until dough comes together in a ball. Don’t be afraid to use your hands to fully incorporate the dry ingredients until a nice solid dough forms.

On top of a sheet of plastic wrap, roll out the dough into a cylinder. Sprinkle sanding sugar all over the outside of the cylinder, rolling back and forth along the plastic until the dough is coated. Wrap dough well in the plastic wrap and freeze for at least an hour.

When you are ready to bake, pop the dough in the fridge while preheating the oven to 350 F. When oven is preheated, slice the cookies into quarter-inch slices and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until cookies are just turning golden. Do not overbake, or you will have dry shortbread. I always think it is better to slightly undercook if anything, as I prefer a soft, creamy shortbread over a crunchy one. Cool cookies completely on a wire rack.

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