Amanda’s Bergamot Rosemary Shorties
This is a post about my friend Amanda. She’s fantastic and she loves many things and loves them very well.
Amanda and I went to grad school together, where we earned a bit of money and exercised culinary creativity through catering college events together. Amanda and I have tended to tread the same path over the last several years, but she has led the way every time: she was the first to make soup every Tuesday for 300 people; she was the first to finish her chapbook of poetry for her Master’s project; she was the first to have a child; she was the first to start a food blog; she was the first to move back to California. When we were first getting to know one another there was a frightening stretch of time before I was sure that we were friends during which I thought we might be enemies. I was, after all, constantly showing up in her space and making a general nuisance of myself. I am happy to say that what could have been a recipe for competition has, in fact, grown an iron-sharpens-iron sort of friendship.
Yesterday when I wanted to make a little something to bring to a house concert some friends were playing, I kept thinking “butter-sugar-flour” which is a little cookie refrain Amanda sang in our catering days. Simple, less costly than cookies made with chocolate or dried fruit or other such (delicious) additions, a good butter cookie can be utterly memorable. Low and behold, when I checked in with her to see what recipes she might have to send me on my bakerly way, I found this, front and center and absolutely perfect for the occassion.
Like I said, Amanda lives in California, where there are citrus trees. She taught me how to make marmalade last year because she had a gleaning of oranges from her sister’s tree. I do not live in California…at least not yet. (That’s right, Amanda! I’m following your path once again! We’ll be in the Golden State at the end of May!). So I do not have Bergamot Oranges at my fingertips. But I do have a little bag of fragrant, loose leaf Earl Grey tea my sister gave me for Christmas. So. This is my take on Amanda’s fantastic recipe, a recipe I commend to you. These cookies were all the rage last night, and I selfishly regretted not stashing a few away at home before carrying them up the street to share. Thank you again, Amanda, for leading the way to delicious things.
Earl Grey Rosemary Shorties (adapted from Amanda’s Bergamot-Rosemary Shorties recipe)
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 TBL loose leaf Earl Grey tea (I pounded mine up in my mortar and pestle before adding it)
1 TBL orange zest
1 TBL finely minced fresh rosemary
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg white, beaten
1/3 cup sugar
a few pinches of sea salt or fleur de sel (or, if you are lucky enough to have a mother-in-law who buys you Trader Joe’s Edible Flowers Sea Salt, use a few cranks of that!)
Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Add zest, tea and rosemary and mix to combine, then add the flour and mix until the dough is truly combined. It may take a while–mine was very, very crumbly at first but eventually came together nicely. Halve the dough and squeeze and roll each piece into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in parchment and refrigerate for 1 hour, or until very firm.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Mix the 1/3 cup sugar and salt on a large plate. Brush the logs with the egg white and roll in sugar and salt mixture. Cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet 1 inch apart.
Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden and center is set and dry. Let cool on sheets at least 10 minutes.
Yield: approximately 2 dozen cookies