June 27th, 2017
From The Harvest Baker, by Ken Haedrich
*Rosemary Lemon Shortbread Cookie dough
Prepare the shortbread cookie dough as instructed, substituting 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan for the 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar. Turn the dough out onto your work surface and shape into 11/4-inch-diameter balls. Place the balls about 21/2 inches apart on a large baking sheet, preferably lined with parchment. (Use a shiny sheet, not a dark one, to prevent the cookies from overbrowning.)
Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the cookies. Using the flat bottom of a glass, press gently to flatten each ball into a disk about 1/2 inch thick. With your thumb, press the center of the disk to make a deep crater; be careful not to press all the way through the dough. Refrigerate the sheet for 1 to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Carefully remove the plastic from the cookies if you haven’t already. Bake for about 15 minutes, then check on them: the craters will have started to relax and fill in. Slide out the cookies, and using the rounded surface of a melon baller or another small rounded object, gently press each crater to reestablish its original crater shape. Continue to bake for 5 to 7 more minutes — a total of 20 to 22 minutes — until the bottoms of the cookies turn golden brown. (Since there is less sugar in these than in the original recipe, you may not see much if any browning on the top surface of the cookies.) Transfer to a rack and cool the cookies on the sheet for several minutes. Using a thin spatula, carefully move the cookies off the sheet and onto the rack to finish cooling.
When you’re ready to assemble the shortbreads, preferably within an hour of serving them, spread about 1/2 teaspoon cream cheese in each crater, smearing it in with the back of a spoon to keep the crater shape. Then spoon a generous 1/2 teaspoon of tomato jam into each crater. Top the jam with a few little crumbles of feta cheese. Arrange on a platter and serve.
*Rosemary Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Combine the granulated sugar, rosemary, lemon zest, and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse five or six times. Add the yolk; pulse again several times. Add the flour and confectioners’ sugar; pulse again to mix.
Remove the lid and scatter the butter pieces over the dry ingredients. Pulse the machine repeatedly, until the dough forms large clumps that start gathering together. Stop the machine before the dough clumps too much or balls up around the blade.
Turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured work surface and divide it in half. Gently squeeze and knead the dough several times to even out the consistency. Dust a long piece of waxed paper with 3 to 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Using your palms, roll one half of the dough on the granulated sugar and into a 13/4- to 2-inch-thick log. Repeat for the other half of the dough. Slip the logs into gallon food storage bags and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) when you’re ready to bake the cookies. Line a large baking sheet with parchment if you have it. (It’s better not to use a dark baking sheet, if you have the choice, because it might cause the cookies to overbrown.) Unwrap the dough and place it on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the dough into rounds 1/3 inch thick. Place the rounds on the sheet about 1 inch apart. When the sheet is full, put any unused dough back in the fridge.
Bake the cookies for 15 to 17 minutes, until the edges are golden and the surface is starting to brown. Transfer to a rack and cool for a minute or two on the sheet; then take them off the sheet and let them finish cooling directly on the rack.
When the sheet has cooled, slice and bake the remaining cookies. You can also load up a second sheet while the first one bakes. However, don’t put the cold cut cookies on a warm sheet, or the cookies will start to melt before they bake.