rugelach

It’s about to be a factory of sweets up in this joint. I’m making my list and checking it twice. And I’m getting excited.

These rugelach are most definitely adding to the excitement. Whenever I go to New York, I make sure I get my fill of rugelach. And for whatever reason, I pretty much only eat them when I’m in New York. Until this past weekend.

The original plan was to make a chocolate babka. But I was reviewing recipes and they all involved several hours from start to finish, as most yeast doughs do. This usually is not a deterrent for me, but my hours are precious these days and I just couldn’t commit to such a lengthy project.

And then this rugelach recipe winked at me. And I just knew. I love it when a new recipe works out perfectly, no mishaps, no funny business.

If you’ve never had rugelach, you’re in for a treat. They’re sort of a cookie-pastry hybrid; tender, flaky cream cheese dough, filled with preserves and nuts and cinnamon-sugar and rolled into little cresents. As they bake, the sugar mixture melts into the preserves, which become a little bit sticky and caramelized and the dough puffs around it. And since they’re not terribly sweet, they are dangerously easy to eat.

rugelach

from Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours by Sarabeth Levine

makes 36 cookies

16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch cubes 

8 ounces cream cheese, softened, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

2-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup raspberry or apricot preserves, or a mixture of the two

1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon granulated sugar

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed until evenly combined, stopping the mixer once or twice to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, about 2 minutes. Beat in 2 tablespoons of sugar, vanilla, and salt. Reduce the speed to low. Add 1-1/4 cups of the flour and mix just until incorporated, then repeat with the remaining 1 cup of flour. Do not overmix.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Flour your hands and gently knead to be sure that the ingredients are evenly distributed, about 10 seconds. Divide the dough into thirds. Shape each portion into a 1-inch thick disk and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, about 2 hours.

To make the filling, combine the walnuts, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, brown sugar, cocoa, and cinnamon in a small bowl; set aside.

Position the racks in the center and top third of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper.

Working with one disk of dough at a time, unwrap and place on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with flour, and roll out into a 13-inch-diameter circle. Using a small offset metal spatula, spread with about 2 tablespoons of the preserves, leaving a 2-inch diameter space in the center of the dough, and a 1-inch border around the edge. Sprinkle the jam with about 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture. Using a sharp pizza wheel or large knife, cut the dough into quarters, then cut each quarter into 3 wedges, to give a total of 12 wedges. One at a time, starting at the wide end, fold the corners in about 1/4-inch and then roll up. Do not roll the rugelach too tightly or the filling will ooze out. Wipe your fingers clean after rolling each rugelach to avoid getting jam on the outside of the cookies. Place each rugelach on the pans about 1-inch apart, with the point of each facing down. Curve the ends of the rugelach slightly toward the center to make a crescent. Repeat this process with the other two disks of dough.

Bake until lightly browned, about 30 minutes. Cool completely on the pans. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Just before serving, sift with confectioners’ sugar.

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peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies

And so it begins. ‘Tis the season for goodies. Are you ready?

I’ve been obsessed with Concord grape jam since I made my first batch last month. And I’ve been wanting to do something with it other than just smother it on top of peanut butter and saltines.

And then I figured it out – peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies. How could you not love the idea of peanut butter cookies with a well of your favorite jam in the center?

These are peanut butter and jelly love. And if you’re more of a peanut butter and chocolate person, you could swap out the jam for a little ganache or chocolate frosting. Santa will approve either way.

peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies

from Martha Stewart Living

makes about 40 cookies

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus more for rolling

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup jam (grape or seedless raspberry are favorites)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat peanut butter and butter on medium speed until smooth. Add sugars, and beat until pale and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients, and mix until combined.

Using a small (1 tablespoon) ice cream scoop, scoop dough and form into balls. Roll each ball in granulated sugar, and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart.

Bake until cookies are puffy, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and make indentations in centers by pressing with the handle end of a wooden spoon. Return to oven, and bake until edges are golden, 6 to 7 minutes more. Transfer sheets to wire racks, and let cool completely.

Heat jam in a small saucepan, stirring, until loosened, about 30 seconds. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon into each indentation. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container in a single layer for up to 1 week.

iced oatmeal cookies

Let cookie season commence! Maybe you’re thinking it’s a little early to declare the beginning of cookie season. But before you know it, it will be Halloween which turns into November which turns into December and cookies will be flying in and out of your oven. So why not get a head start, a little pre-holiday warm up?

The truth of the matter is that I’m just excited about these cookies. And I need to share them with you. Right now. I’m not sure why I waited so long, but almost a year has passed since I flagged this recipe and I couldn’t be more happy about finally getting around to it.

In Good to the Grain, Kim Boyce describes these cookies as being reminiscent of Mother’s iced oatmeal cookies. She couldn’t be more dead-on. When I was growing up, my maternal grandmother always kept a package Mother’s cookies on her kitchen table. I never realized until just a few years ago that Mother’s Cookies were a West Coast thing. Being that their factory was in Oakland, they were in just about every grocery store in the Bay Area during my childhood. The iced oatmeal were my favorite (I also loved the pink and white, sprinkle covered Circus Animal cookies). Dunked in a cold glass of milk, the crisp cookie would soften slightly and melt in your mouth on contact. It was the best after school treat.

These are the closest I’ve come to a homemade version of the Mother’s classic. It’s a crunchy cookie, not wafer thin, but not as bulky as your typical oatmeal cookie, with a hardened drizzle of sugary icing on top. They have a nice amount of spice from cinnamon and nutmeg. And they’re just a bit buttery, which might make them even better than the original.

iced oatmeal cookies

adapted from Good to the Grain by Kim Boyce

makes 16-20 cookies

dry mix:

2 cups rolled oats

2 cups multigrain flour mix (see below for recipe)

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

wet mix:

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

2 eggs

frosting:

2-1/4 cups powdered sugar

5 to 6 tablespoons whole milk

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

multigrain flour:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 cup barley flour

1/4 cup millet flour

1/4 cup rye flour

For the multigrain flour, measure all the flours into a bowl and whisk together.

Place two racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat to 350F. Grease two baking sheets with butter or line with parchment paper.

In a food processor, grind the oats to a coarse meal that still has a few large flakes, about 10 seconds.

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl, pouring any remaining bits left in the sifter into the bowl. Add the ground oats to the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the butter and eggs until thoroughly combined. Using a spatula, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine.

If you want thin cookies, bake the dough just after you mix it. For a thicker, chewier cookie, chill the dough for at least an hour.

For large cookies, scoop balls of dough about 3 tablespoons in size onto the cookie sheets, leaving 3 inches between them, or 6 per sheet – the cookies will spread quite a bit, so do not put them too close together. (If you prefer a medium size cookie, an extra heaping tablespoon of dough should do the trick.)

Bake for 16-20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through. The cookies are ready when they are evenly brown across the top. Cool the cookies on a rack while you bake the rest of the dough and make the frosting.

For the frosting, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, cinnamon, and salt until smooth  and about the consistency of honey. If the frosting is too thick, add a bit more milk. If it’s too thin, add more powdered sugar.

Decorate the cooled cookies on a rack or a sheet of parchment. Drizzle the icing over the cookies one at a time, making irregular lattice designs over the entire tops of the cookies. Let the frosting set for 30 minutes before eating. Cookies are best eaten the day they’re made. They will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

coconut macaroons

Here’s something you figure out by the time you reach your late twenties: baby mamas = baby showers. When you approach your thirties, people start having babies. All at once. Including your besties.

With the efforts of four talented ladies and some awesome caterers, we threw an amazing shower on a gorgeous August Sunday.

Mrs. Baby Mama isn’t so much into babies or showers, so the focus was most definitely the food. The s+s gastro grub team prepared a menu for us that went something like this:

waffle beef dogs with maple syrup – a fun take on the classic corndog. like a pig-in-a-blanket on a stick.

crispy pork belly with 63 degree egg and kimchee puree – the slow-cooked egg is slightly custardy and super tasty when mixed with the kimchee puree, which becomes a dip for the crispy pork. 

beet, compressed watermelon, and heirloom tomato salad – perfectly dressed, super refreshing, best of  summer on a plate. 

seared tri tip with chimichurri and  grilled corn on the cob – ladies who love meat are we, especially paired with the bright flavors of the chimichurri. 

And then there was dessert.

Sometimes I impress even myself. I managed to crank out two types of vegan cupcakes – red velvet and banana chocolate, raspberry pavlovas, and chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons, made special for the Mama-to-be, who has been on a serious macaroon kick.

I couldn’t have asked for a better coconut macaroon, especially considering that my first attempt was disastrous and had to be thrown away. Of all the desserts, they were definitely the highlight for me. We’re talking crispy toasted coconut on the outside, tender and chewy coconut in the middle, dipped and drizzled with rich bittersweet chocolate – perfection. For a simple cookie, it hit all of the marks. I wonder if one day the little boo, who is due two days after my birthday, will enjoy these macaroons as much as her mama and I.

coconut macaroons

adapted from Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America

makes 20 medium sized macaroons

1 cup granulated sugar, divided

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

3-1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut

6 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon orange zest

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine 1/3 cup of sugar with the flour and set aside.

Combine the remaining 2/3 cup sugar, coconut, and egg whites in a heat-proof bowl. Place over a pan of simmering water, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and holds together, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Fold in the flour mixture, orange zest, and vanilla extract.

Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop spoonfuls of batter onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them 2 inches apart.

In batches, bake until the macaroons are light golden brown on the outside but still soft enough to give slightly when pressed lightly with your fingertip, 20-25 minutes. Transfer the macaroons still on the parchment paper to a wire rack to cool completely.

Line the cookie sheets with clean parchment paper and set aside.

Once the macaroons are cool, place 2/3 of the chopped chocolate in a heat-proof bowl. Place over a pan of simmering water and stir often, making sure not to let any steam or moisture come in contact with the chocolate. Continue until chocolate is completely melted and has reached a temperature of 110-120°F. Remove from heat and add the reserved chocolate and stir until it cools to 90°F.

Carefully lift the macaroons from the parchment paper one at a time and carefully dip the bottom of each macaroon in the melted chocolate, letting excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Place on the prepared cookie sheet. When all macaroons have been dipped, dip a fork in the melted chocolate and drizzle chocolate over the macaroons in a thin stream, using a back and forth motion. Let chocolate harden completely before transferring macaroons to an airtight container.

chocolate whoopie pies

It feels like it’s been forever since I was last here. I swear I’ve been meaning to write. But I’ve been running around like a chicken with its head cut off and playing event coordinator and baking like it’s nobody’s business. Does anyone else feel like August is moving at a rapid pace? I can’t believe how fast these days have come and gone. I also can’t believe that in thirty days I’ll be thirty. OMG. WTF? I’m not ready. Let’s talk about whoopie pies.

When I started seeing whoopie pie pans at Sur la Table a while back, I was skeptical. Maybe unenthusiastic is a better word. I thought of it as just another fad in the baking world. I had never had a whoopie pie, and though I like the original concept behind them (a use for excess cake batter), I never had much interest in making them.

But a few weeks ago I passed by a sweet looking little bakery after having dinner with Adrian and Ash and decided to pop in to pick up cupcakes for my sister’s birthday party. What actually caught my attention was a mountain of whoopie pies in the display case. So I ordered one to go.

We each took a bite of the ginormous cookie sandwich as we walked to the car. Rather than the cakey-cookie delight I had imagined, it was, though tasty, just two cookies filled with sugary buttercream. It went into my purse and stayed there until later that night, when I was at the bar and craving something sweet. I was with Edwin at that point and when he took his first bite, he said something along the lines of it tasting the way a baby or a cute little animal would taste if you bit into it (something only Edwin would say).  He was into it. Since his birthday was in just a few days to follow, I decided he would have whoopie pies. And I knew exactly where to turn for a recipe.

I know I’ve already declared my love for the gentlemen at Baked and their first book. Their second book, Baked Explorations, focuses on classic American desserts. Luckily for me, there were a few whoopie pie recipes to choose from. I went with the classic chocolate pie with Swiss vanilla filling.

Whoopie! I finally understand what all the hoopla is about. These whoopie pies are exactly what I imagined a whoopie pie should be. They’re cakey but have a slight cookie resemblance. And the Swiss buttercream is unbelievably light, kind of creamy and marshmallowy all at once. The combination of the rich chocolate cakey-cookie and airy vanilla filling is perfection. They’re like little hand-held cakes, which make them an ideal on-the-go treat. I think I know where Little Debbie got her inspiration.

chocolate whoopie pies

from Baked Explorations by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

makes 12-20 pies (depending on size)

for the cookies:

3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1-1/4 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Valrhona)

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder

1/2 cup hot coffee

2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar

3/4 cup canola oil

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken

for the swiss vanilla filling:

5 large egg whites

1-1/2 cups sugar

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, cool but not cold

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

make the chocolate cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together the cocoa and espresso powders. Add the hot coffee and 1/2 cup hot water and whisk until completely dissolved.

In a medium bowl, stir the brown sugar and oil together. Add this to the cocoa mixture and whisk until combined. Add the egg, vanilla, and buttermilk and whisk until smooth.

Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as you fold.

Use a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism to drop heaping tablespoons of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets about 1 inch apart. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let the cookies cool completely on the pans while you make the vanilla filling.

make the Swiss vanilla filling: 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites and sugar together. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water but do not let the water touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and the color is a milky white, about 2 to 3 minutes.

With the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat on low then increase to  medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Remove the whisk attachment and replace with the paddle attachment. Add the cubed butter and beat on medium-high  speed until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. If the butter looks like it’s breaking, keep beating until it comes together.

Add the salt and vanilla and beat for 5 seconds to combine.

assemble the whoopie pies:

Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down (flat side facing up).

Use and ice cream scoop or a tablespoon to drop a large dollop of filling onto the flat side of the cookie. Place another cookie on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm up before serving.

The whoopie pies will keep for up to 3 days, on a parchment lined baking sheet covered with plastic wrap, in the refrigerator. Bring the whoopie pies chilled or at room temperature.

chocolate marmalade cookies

Just because I’ve given up sweet, delicious treats doesn’t mean y’all have to suffer. I made these right before I started my carb fast, but I thought I’d wait to share them since I had a feeling that there would be no baking here for a while.

There has been absolutely no baking.

I haven’t baked a thing in almost three weeks. I think I’m going through some serious withdrawal at the moment. I start to feel a little crazy when I look at desserts in cookbooks and magazines. And my stand mixer seems rather lonesome. I’ve come to realize that my need to bake actually exceeds my need to devour sweets, which I think might be a good thing. I miss the precision, the mess I tend to make, and, of course, I miss quality testing. I really miss the whole process.

So in the meantime, I’ve been making a list of all the bakeries I want to visit while I’m in New York. There just aren’t enough days! After ogling the pages of her book, Sarabeth’s has made its way on the list. I am totally obsessed with From My Hands to Yours. It is my new baking bible. The photos are beautiful and there are lots of technical words of wisdom throughout the book. I have not been able to put it down. And I want to make everything.

These gorgeous little sandwich cookies made my heart skip a beat for a number of reasons. One, they’re filled with marmalade – I love me some marmalade. Two, they’re dipped in dark chocolate. And who doesn’t love dark chocolate? Three, I already had all of the ingredients on hand, including my homemade three citrus marmalade. How could I pass them up?

I definitely chose well (though I’m sure I would have loved any of the goodies from the book). These cookies are delightful. There is a hint of lemon in the buttery shortbread, which works perfectly with the sweet, sticky marmalade, which works perfectly with the velvety dark chocolate.  And they’re not overwhelmingly sweet. If you ask me, it’s a perfectly balanced cookie. I wish I could have one right now. But I mustn’t. So maybe you should try them and remind me of what I’m missing out on.

chocolate marmalade cookies

from Sarabeth’s Bakery: From My Hands to Yours by Sarabeth Levine

makes about 2 dozen sandwich cookies

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup superfine sugar

2 large egg yolks, at room temperature

grated zest of 1/4 lemon

1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

1-1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 cup orange marmalade, finely chopped 

12 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, divided

Beat the butter in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar. Beat, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl, until light in color and texture, about 3 minutes longer. Beat in the yolks, lemon zest and salt. Reduce the speed to low. Add the flour in thirds, and mix just until the dough comes together and the sides of the bowl are almost clean.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gather and shape the dough into a smooth ball. Roll the dough under our hands into a 14-inch long log that is about 1-1/2 inches in diameter. Place a 18 by 13-inch sheet of parchment paper on the work surface, with the long side facing you. Transfer the dough log to the center of the parchment paper. Fold the parchment paper over the log. Hold the edge of a yardstick securely along the long side of the log, pull the top layer of the parchment paper under the yardstick to tighten the paper and lightly compress the log. The log should now be 16 inches long. Unwrap the log. To remove the visible seam in the dough, roll it lightly on the paper to smooth it out. Reroll the paper around the log. Do not twist the ends closed, as this dough is soft. Refrigerate until the dough id chilled and firm, at least 1 hour.

Position the racks in the center and top of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper.

Unwrap the log. Using a thin, sharp knife, cut the log crosswise into 3/8 thick rounds, keeping the rounds in sequence. Place the cookies about 1 inch apart on the pans, arranging them in pairs to that they will fit together nicely when sandwiched. Bake, switching the position of the pans from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking, until the edges of the cookies are lightly browned, about 12 minutes. Cool completely on the baking pans.

Turn the cookies over so the undersides face up. Spoon a rounded 1/2 teaspoon of marmalade onto one of each pair of cookies, and sandwich their flat sides together. Let the cookies stand overnight at room temperature to set the marmalade.

To temper the chocolate, bring 1 inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Reduce the heat to very low. Place 8 ounces of the chocolate in a wide, heatproof bowl. Transfer the bowl to the saucepan, being sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Let stand, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate reaches 110° to 112°F on a thermometer. Remove the bowl from the heat and place on a kitchen towel. Add the remaining 4 ounces of chocolate and stir until melted. Let stand, stirring every minute or so, until the chocolate reaches 88°F.

Lina a half-sheet pan with fresh parchment paper. One at a time, dip a cookie in the chocolate, letting the chocolate come about one-third up the sides of the cookie. Give the cookie a gentle shake to remove the excess chocolate, then carefully place the cookie on the pan. Push each cookie with your finger to move it about 1/8 inch from its position on the pan to dislodge and remove the “foot” the chocolate has formed. Let the cookies stand until the chocolate sets. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container, with the layers separated by the parchment paper, for up to 5 days.


rosemary buttter cookies

Are we there yet? I can’t believe Christmas is just a few days away. It has been a super-festive holiday season. There have been parties involving cookies and cocktails and gingerbread houses and eating. There has definitely been some good eating. It’s been a blast. It feels like Christmas. And I’ve been baking up a storm as a result.

What’s crazy to me is that there is so much left to do. I still have a serious shopping list to tackle. And a playlist to compile for this fantastic blog. There are gifts that need to be made and desserts that need to be baked for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. And even though I know I’ll be exhausted at the end of it all, I’m actually really looking forward to it. Like I said, it feels like Christmas.

When I made these rosemary butter cookies for a party last weekend, I decided that I would be adding them to my list of favorites. The cookie itself is not super sweet, which is a nice change of pace from all of the sugary treats I’ve been partaking in. More importantly, it’s an easy cookie, one that requires little time and effort. Plus, the dough can be made in advance and stashed in the freezer until you need it. And with the help of a little rosemary, these are just a bit fancier and more flavorful than your basic butter cookie.

I pretty much love anything with rosemary. As a little girl, I would pick the needles from my grandparent’s rosemary bush and sniff them obsessively; I couldn’t believe that something so fragrant could grow in the yard. Part of me still feels that way whenever I pick the rosemary that grows wild in my front yard. Unlike gingerbread and other spiced goodies that go floating around during this time of year, these rosemary cookies don’t scream Christmas, but are still a great addition to your holiday repertoire. And everyone will thank you.

rosemary butter cookies

adapted from Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies 2005

makes about 5 dozen

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg plus 1 egg white, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 cup fine sanding sugar

Combine butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the whole egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, rosemary, and salt and mix until combined.

Divide dough in half and shape each half into a log. Place each log on a 12-by-16-inch sheet of parchment. Roll in parchment to 1-1/2 inches in diameter, pressing along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Transfer dough to paper-towel tubes to hold shape, and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush each log with beaten egg white, then roll in sanding sugar. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on baking sheets lined with parchment, about 1 inch apart. Bake until edges are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.