Saturday, 21 November 2009

Orange and Rosemary Shortbread

It's taken me ages to write this post, just because there has been absolutely zero daylight in Edinburgh to take pictures with. It's so depressing that there is still a month left where it will just get darker. The curtains are shut and the lights are on by about 3pm most days. So, prepare yourself for some very dodgy photos in the coming months, and I apologise for my shaky-cam poor lighting. Brace yourselves for winter.


I've been thinking about the Lemon Thyme biscuits I made earlier in the year a lot lately. I wanted to make them again, but they didn't seem suitable given the cold and dark. Christmas doesn't seem like a lemon time of year. Oranges and clementines are more festive feeling to me.

Orange and Rosemary Shortbread

I swapped out the lemon zest for orange, and finely chopped a couple of sprigs of rosemary. I rolled the dough thicker than I would normally. It seems more appropriate to have a massive hunk of shortbread rather than a daintily thin slice. For some of the larger biscuits, I made a hole in the top so it could be used as a tree decoration.

Orange and Rosemary Shortbread Tree Decorations

The shortbread was crumbly and buttery, and the orange flavour shone through. The rosemary wasn't very strong, so added a pleasant herby aftertaste rather than a massive kick. I decorated the biscuits with an egg white wash and a sprinkle of granulated sugar, to create a frosty effect. Without the sugar topping, it was a quite grown up, but the extra sweetness made the appeal more universal, so perhaps more suitable for feeding to less refined palates! They are incredibly moreish though, so watch out...

Orange Shortbread with Rosemary
Makes lots

225g unsalted butter, softened
150g granulated sugar
zest of 1 orange
1 tsp salt
2 tsps finely chopped rosemary
1 egg, separated (save the white for the glaze)
275g plain flour
2 tbsps orange juice

Granulated sugar

1) Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
2) Add in the orange zest, salt and rosemary, combine thoroughly.
3) Separate the egg, saving the white for glazing. Add the yolk into the biscuit dough mix.
4) Add the flour and orange juice. Once a dough starts forming, knead gently on a floured surface.
5) If the dough is sticky at this point, add more flour, a sprinkle at a time.Wrap the dough in clingfilm, and chill for at least an hour.
6) Preheat the oven to 180C, and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.Roll the dough out to 5mm thick, and cut circles out (I used a 2 inch diameter cutter). Keep gathering the scraps and re-rolling until you have about 40 biscuits.
7) Brush the biscuits with egg white, and then sprinkle with granulated sugar.
8) Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the biscuits are just turning golden brown at the edges.Cool on the tray for 1 minute, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling.


Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

I know what you mean about the light lately. It's been terrible. I even carried my table top into the garden yesterday to photograph my latest cake and it was a relatively bright day. If I ever extend the kitchen it will have a skylight!

These biscuits look lovely, I always mean to make some for my tree but rarely get around to it. Maybe this year.