The plan was to provide 12 Days of Christmas cookies for you all and everything was going well until I came down with the flu. Probably a good thing because 1) there are plenty of cookie recipes on the web this time of year 2) who really needs 12 days of cookies and 3) this gives me more time to refine next year's post :)

But this doesn't mean I don't have an arsenal of cookies up my sleeve. There are six different kinds in my freezer at the moment. Not sure if I'll post ALL of them, but at least this one if not more. One has bourbon, so that needs to be shared with the world.

Like Thanksgiving, most families stick to the same menu of cookies come holiday time. I have some that I absolutely need, but generally, I don't mind mixing things up. This year, Lemon Rosemary Shortbread is getting thrown in the mix. Generally, herbs in my desserts are not my fav. Often times, it's way overdone and tastes like soap. I'll never recover from the circa 2002 lavender craze. When added in just the right amount though, it's pretty damn delicious.

The secret to tender shortbread is not over mixing your dough. Otherwise, it's a super simple recipe and can be modified in a million different ways. Not convinced the rosemary is magic? Omit it or add something else. Clove or nutmeg is great with lemon, black pepper is another mind-blowing mate, earl grey is classic or just plain lemon.

Lemon Rosemary Shortbread
adapted from Real Simple
~yields four dozen

Cookie dough:
3/4 cup (5 oz) granulated sugar
heaping 1/4 tsp finely chopped rosemary
zest of 1 lemon, divided
1 1/2 sticks (6 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups (9 oz) all-purpose flour

1 cup (4 1/2 oz) powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbs lemon juice
remaining zest (see above)

Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. 
In a small bowl, combine the sugar, rosemary and half of the lemon zest (reserve the remaining zest for the glaze). 
Rub the sugar, rosemary and zest together until fragrant. 
In a standing mixer, cream the butter and fragrant sugar until well combined. 
Add the yolks and vanilla, one at a time, scraping in between each addition. 
Add the flour and salt on low speed and mix just until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX!
Divide the dough into quarters and shape into 1" diameter logs. Wrap in parchment or wax paper and chill at least 30 minutes. 
Slice the logs into 3/8" rounds and place on the lined sheet pan. 
Bake until just barely golden  ~ 16-20 minutes. 
Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely. 
Meanwhile, whisk the powdered sugar, zest and lemon juice until it forms a thick but pourable glaze. Add more lemon juice or powdered sugar as needed. 
Dip the tops of the cooled cookie and set until hardened. 
The dough can be frozen in for up to two months. Slice and bake straight from the freezer!


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