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Lemon & Herb Shortbread

December 8, 2011

DECEMBER 6th, 2011 — I make Christmas cards for a bunch of friends & acquaintances–yes, in the midst of studying for finals, and it’s immensely satisfying because taking the thought of thinking about each person’s unique individual quirks and qualities just launches roundabouts of positive energy. But of course I do happen to neglect to make and write a homemade card for everybody… so this year I finally got get out of my dorm room and bake, with my good friend (and very savvy baker) Francesca to make cookies. In addition to this, we made brown sugar & spice shortbread, as well as pumpkin dark chocolate chunk cookies.

Shortbread is a classic cookie, which typically is comprised solely of flour, sugar, and butter.

So what did you do?
I sifted through some recipes online and mixed and matched ingredients and steps. The batter was:
-1 3/4 cups flour
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/8 tsp salt
-1 cup (1 stick) butter
-2/3 – 3/4 cup sugar
-lemon juice (3 halves)
-2 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
-2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme & rosemary

Knead the dough until crumbly. Not too smooth, says Francesca. We always go overboard with mix-ins and used twice as much as recipes called for. No one likes a salad that’s mostly iceberg lettuce or fried rice that is 70% rice. That’s absurd.

Bake for ~30 minutes at 325 degrees.

You can even see the bright yellow confetti of freshly grated lemon zest.

Let it cool (it’ll harden a bit), cut the cookies, and let them cool down some more.

They taste great both warm and fresh (for obvious reasons) as well as when chilled and a day old, because it has developed that fun, dense, chewy texture.

Lessons learned?

You know when you get a sugar high and can are so revved up to study? I got a baking high, just excited about the cookies and giving them out. And I studied the sh*t outta archaeology after this 2-3 hour break from finals week.

Happy Holidays!


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