Settling in back home, the only logical thing for me to do is to cook and bake and retreat into my knitting. I think I have said something along the lines of this before, and Im certainly not the first to say it, but food is so much more than food, it truly is a gift. This past week has given me a new set of eyes, tuned into the gradients of thankfulness. Everything is new, and fleeting, and must be enjoyed; this moment, this taste, this feeling, will be gone sooner than we know.
My sweet friend Aiyana came over for coffee to catch up on Tuesday morning. She recently started homeschooling all three of her brilliant children, so they came along too. Julian was beyond tickled to play with them all, and had what I believe may be his first crush. He got all googlie eyed at Aiyana's beautiful blonde hair, blue eyed daughter Lucy. He has great taste, but then again the Taylor family all seem to have walked out of a glossy coffee table book of iconic models or something.
It was a little chilly in the house so I decided that because the children were coming over some sort of treat should be made. Maybe I just wanted some cookies with my coffee, and the children coming over was just a convenient excuse. Soon enough, short bread cookies were in the oven and the smell of sage was wafting through the air, ready to greet them at the door. When we took them out of the oven Aiyana and I agreed that yes, these were more than just alright, these were dangerously good.
So of course, I'll share the simple recipe with you.
1 c Org. all purpose flour
1/2 c Org. whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup Org. unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar
a handful of sage leaves
a few sprigs of thyme, stems removed
a tinesy bit of turbanado sugar
(or any large grain sugar)
Preheat oven to 325. Chop (or grate with a box grater) the 1/2 cup butter. Combine all the other ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times to get the herbs chopped up and sugar incorporated. Toss the butter into the food processor and pulse maybe 15 times, or until the butter is a little smaller than the size of peas. Lightly dust work surface with flour and dump the contents of the food processor bowl unceremoniously onto the table. Knead until it starts to come together into a ball, it takes a minute or too and at first the dough is really crumbly but it will get there. Roll the dough out to about 1/4 in thickness. I actually used the lid of spice jar to cut the cookies into rounds because who has several different sizes of circular cookie dough cutters on hand? Not me. Throw some parchment paper onto the cookie sheet and transfer the dough rounds on to the sheet. They don't really grow much so you can put them relatively close together. Sprinkle with a little turbanado sugar and leave them to bake for about 20 minutes, let them go a little longer if they need it. Let them cool a bit and then try not to eat them all in one sitting.
I actually had some roasted butternut squash (from a pie I made earlier in the week) and since it was so sweet with nothing in it, I just slathered the puree on to the cookies and called it a cookie sandwich. It tasted like mini thanksgiving day pies on steroids. Sage and butternut squash are a classic and delicious combination, if you haven't already tried it, you are really missing out! The above recipe is really malleable, you could add almost anything into it. Id like to try it with lavender and poppy seed, or maybe some toasted pecans and cinnamon. These would be great to bring to a cookie exchange, or send to a friend because they are so simple but have such great flavor.
What are some of your favorite shortbread cookie recipes? Or memories?
Thanks for reading.