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Rosemary + Toasted-Caraway Shortbread

One can never have too many shortbread recipes.

In my estimation, no other cookie really compares to the humble shortbread and its kin. Butter, sugar and flour are transformed into one of the greatest culinary inventions of all time. At this time of year, cookies seem especially perfect and it is smart to have several shortbread recipes on hand.

This particular shortbread has a savory edge from rosemary and toasted caraway seeds. Caraway has been having a moment, and I’m enjoying it. Some of my earliest food memories are eating toasted rye bread with my mom. The pop of caraway seed flavor is both comforting and complex. It makes these cookies very special, and the perfect mid-afternoon snack with a cup of tea. They also keep for at least a week in a tin, making them nice to have around when you have family or friends visiting. What they are not, however, is sturdy. Don’t plan on shipping these, they’re a little too fragile for a road trip. Happy baking, friends.

Rosemary and Toasted-Caraway Shortbread (from Bon Appetit [1])

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast caraway seeds in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat, tossing occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Coarsely chop; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and salt until very light and fluffy, 7–10 minutes (beating air into butter makes for tender shortbread). Reduce speed to low and add flour, caraway, and 2 tsp. chopped rosemary; mix just to combine. Dough will look shaggy and a little dry (it’s not!).

Press dough into two 8”-diameter cake pans. Brush with egg, sprinkle with sanding sugar, and top with rosemary leaves.

Bake until shortbread is golden brown and sides pull away from pan, 20–25 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cool in pan before turning out and cutting into wedges or bars.

DO AHEAD: Shortbread dough can be made 1 month ahead; wrap tightly and freeze. Shortbread can be baked 1 week ahead; store wrapped tightly at room temperature.

Okay, this last photo is an example of food photography gone wrong–it looks like some sort of schnitzel, right?