It might help if you start at the beginning–of the blog that is. Yesterday, I extolled my homegrown Hammock Ponderosa lemons. Having realized that I had listed several of my favorite lemon recipes, I thought I would include a variation of one here. While photographing my lovely lemon yesterday I couldn’t help but admire my large potted rosemary bush.
Having watched more than the necessary amount of Food Network over the weekend, my memory still retained a portion of Valerie Bertinelli’s program where she made lemon rosemary shortbread. Aha! a variation on my favorite was born. Now, I am sorry Food Network, but until you feature a British chef or Anglophile, you probably aren’t going to get your shortbread recipes to my liking. Never-the-less, I have to admit, the idea of lemon and rosemary intrigued me enough to try adding it to a recipe I love. For anyone who has ever had a Walker shortbread you have to admit that the best shortbread is crunchy, crispy, hard or any other similar adjective.
Enter my first favorite shortbread recipe. It was given to me by my husband’s Scottish aunt, Gertrude while visiting her in Vancouver, Canada too many years ago to count. She even provided me with a properly shaped individual cutter. I’m not going to share that recipe as, to be honest, it just takes too long to cut out all those individual shortbread fingers and individually poke the necessary little holes in them. I will tell you, however, that the special ingredient that made it my favorite recipe is included in my current favorite that I share below. If you take out the extra Tablespoon of sugar, the lemon zest and the finely chopped rosemary, you will have the basic, and to my taste, perfect shortbread recipe. But hey, variety is nice and the addition of these two ingredients made for some pretty tasty shortbread.
For those wanting to know more about shortbread, here is a fine article that supports my version: History of Scottish Shortbread
Without further ado…
Scottish Lemon Rosemary Shortbread
2/3 Cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 Cup sugar plus 1 Tablespoon
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup rice flour (special ingredient that makes your shortbread crunchy)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a shallow 8 or 10 inch cake pan, I like springform style and I use the 10 inch. 8 inch will give you a thicker shortbread and you will need the longer of the cooking times.
Mix the sugar with the lemon zest and rosemary. Reserve about a Tablespoon to sprinkle on top of shortbread once it is in the pan.
Using and electric mixer, cream the butter and 1 Cup sugar together until light and fluffy. Sift over the flours, baking powder and salt and mix well. The mixture will appear crumbly not creamy.
Press the dough into the prepared pan. Smooth the surface with the back of a spoon and prick all over with the tines of a fork. I then score my shortbread into wedges. I usually make 16. You may make larger or cut into fingers if using a square or rectangular pan.
Sprinkle over the reserved sugar mixture and bake until golden, 40-45 minutes. Remove from the oven and re-score. Leave until cool and then unmold. Store in an airtight container.