In the pantry on the third shelf sits a container that is more often than not filled with some sort of home baked goodies. It just feels right when that container is full, a quick sweet treat to have at hand, especially when visitors pop around, it's always lovely to have something to put onto a pretty plate to offer them.
We have been working our way through batches of buttery, lemony, almond shortbread over the last couple of weeks. I was inspired by a recipe that I had come across on the BakeClub website, www.bakeclub.com.au for rosemary and lemon sables. However, I had a friend coming to visit us the following day who is coeliac so I set about trying to make them gluten free, and so began some experimentation. The perfume that exploded out of the fine needle like leaves of the rosemary and lemon verbena as I finely chopped them was heavenly and as I rolled the buttery balls in my hands I may have sneakily pinched a few taste tests of the dough! with a thumb print pressed into the top and the oven waiting, they soon turned a wonderful shade of gold. The result was beautiful and delicate, a perfect little something to accompany a cup of tea or two.
My littlest taste-tester thought they were well worth the effort of sneaking into the pantry when I was showering, when I stepped out I was met with a very cheeky albeit a very proud little man with a toothy grin as he held said biscuit up to his face excitedly saying, "look mummy, I got a bikkie!" It seems that he grew a little overnight and can now reach the biscuit container...
needless to say it has since changed positions.
Rosemary, lemon verbena and almond shortbread.
Makes approx. 30
250g unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
165g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
200g almond meal
140g rice flour, can use either brown or white
2 long sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed and chopped finely
1 sprig of lemon verbena, leaves removed and chopped finely. or zest of 1 lemon if you dont have lemon verbena
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees. Line two baking trays with baking paper and set aside.
Place the butter and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat together for a couple of minutes until it starts to become pale and creamy. Add in the egg yolk along with the rosemary and lemon verbena (or lemon zest) and beat again until combined.
Add the almond meal and rice flour and beat on a low speed until its all combined.
Roll out about a tablespoon worth of mixture into little balls, place it into the palm of your hand and then using your thumb, press down into the middle to create a little dent. Place onto the prepared trays about 2.5cm apart.
Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until just starting to turn golden, swapping the trays halfway through the baking time.
Allow to cool on the trays and then store in an airtight container. They will keep well for a few days.