I have been wanting to bake something sort of unexpected lately. Whenever I see images of pink peppercorn macarons or cayenne brown sugar cookies or brown butter sage marshmallows I feel inspired and think, I should make something sweet with a bit of fresh spice. And then as soon as the baking begins it’s all chocolate & caramel, raspberry & lemon and other delightful but not so unexpected delectables. So, I have been itching to step outside my ingredient box for something a little more adventurous. Ok, baking is not really an adventure when compared with things like scaling rock faces and paddling kayaks off waterfalls, but in my oven a little rosemary infused in dessert could be considered a tad bit out there.
And then the third week of February arrived and I knew I had my inspiration for my ‘bake with spice’ wish. It was my mother-in-law, Jacki’s birthday and if anyone could appreciate something a little more out there in the land of bakingdom I knew it would be her.
She likes timeless pieces with a bit of a twist, art with a bit of edge, scarves with a bit of color, sweets with a bit of spice. She lives with that air of flavor: her home is way out-of-town, in the sticks really but the home itself is a modern cannery inspired masterpiece; she happily cooks up old favorites like shipwreck chicken while also busting out things like lemon glazed salmon – on the same night; her vacation home is in Mexico among pools and tennis courts but she spends her days working with poverty-stricken recovering addicts to establish an addiction centre; she gets wrapped up singing competition television programs but when her son failed to get her the latest season of Sons of Anarchy she tossed out “if you don’t get me my Sons you are no longer my son”; and she is the mother to grown children but her skin still looks as though she is blowing out the candles for her 16th birthday – seriously, it is flawless.
So for her birthday, I made her a treat for the middle of the day, a little spiced sweet something to be enjoyed with her coffee…
Happy Birthday Jacki (last week).
Rosemary & Apricot Shortbread Cookies
Recipe from Tartelette
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 – I ended up using 5
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 1 3/4-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 25 sandwich cookies.