Tada! No strawberries! I can do this. A completely strawberry free post right in the middle of the season. Didn't hurt either. Ok, maybe a little but the pain was eased by the handful of blakberries gathered today in the yard and having a batch of these Rosemary and Apricot Shortbread Cookies while working through various deadlines. Crumbly shortbread specked with freshly chopped rosemary and filled with homemade apricot jam. Sigh...there is only one left.
I realized that unless I am nicely bribed by friends to make cookies, I don't usually make or post many on this site, except for macarons but they are in a league of their own. I guess cookies are not in my DNA, I am more a tea cakes, and tarts kind of gal. Bill on the other hand has the reputation among his family and friends to be The Cookie Monster. I guess this was his lucky weekend.
A few weeks ago I was asked to post links back to Better Home and Gardens and specifically to their Spring Dessert and cookie recipes, as did my pal Jen who posted the most lucious lemon cake I have seen in a while. Like her, I did not feel comfortble blindly posting about something I was not familiar with and decided the best way to approach this would be to try one of their recipes myself.
I like BH&G and I did get the chance to read quite many of their magazines while living with my in-laws when we were building our house. Fifteen months can be long without having a real place of your own and I did enjoy day dreaming while reading about their house renovations and decorations. But I admit that I never quite paid attention to the recipe section. No particular reason other than having a pretty big database of my own and many recipes still to get to on my to do list. Until now...
There were so many pop-ups ads that I almost stopped browsing the recipe section after I had found one that I liked. But for the sake of doing this right, I persevered and finally settled on these cookies. Except I had a senior moment while shopping for ingredients and it's not even my birthday yet! I meant to make the Apricot Sage Cookies but my brain got stuck on rosemary instead. I think it worked out for the better because neither Bill or I are great fans of sage in sweet things. Rosemary, thyme, lemon basil...oh yes!
The cookie recipe is very straightforward and it has just the right amount of herb to play with the buttery flavor of the shortbread. I used homemade apricot and vanilla bean jam that I had in the freezer but any good quality jam will do. I got to tell you though, they are addicting! We had friends over the day I made them and I almost wished I had baked a double batch! To add sweet insult to dessert injury, I served these with homemade goat cheese ice cream and that, as Shuna will agree, was just the right combination.
One year ago: Lemon Rhubarb Mascarpone Mousse Cake.
Two years ago: Vanilla Cardamom Ice Cream.
Rosemary Apricot Shortbread Cookies, from and with permission of Better Homes and Gardens
Notes: I baked these at 350F in a convection oven instead of 375F and I used a smaller cookie cutter which yielded 25 cookies once assembled.
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup butter
2 Tbsp. snipped fresh rosemary or 2 tsp. dried rosemary
3 Tbsp. milk
Apricot spreadable fruit
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a bowl stir together flour, sugar, and cornmeal. Using pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in sage. Add milk. Stir with fork to combine; form into ball. Knead until smooth; divide in half.
On lightly floured surface, roll half the dough at a time to 1/4-inch thickness. Using 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out dough.
Place cutouts 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 10 minutes or until edges are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire rack. Cool.
Spread bottoms of half the cookies with spreadable fruit. Top with remaining cookies. Makes 20 sandwich cookies.
To store: Place in layers separated by waxed paper in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature up to 3 days. Or freeze unfilled cookies up to 3 months. Thaw cookies; fill with spreadable fruit.