Tag Archives: Rosemary

Rosemary Lemon Cornmeal Cookies

I’m planning a little series of Christmas cookie posts this month, loosely titled “The 12 Cookies of Christmas.” (For the most part, I have just been calling it that in my head since it’s such a cheesy title. Let’s not call it that out loud, okay?) Each of the twelve recipes will feature locally-sourced ingredients in a holiday-cookie-exchange-ready format.  Get ready for beet whoopie pies, apple spice cookies, meyer lemon bars, and other holiday treats, just waiting to fill your Santa shaped cookie jar.

Rosemary’s sweet, pungent flavor and green needles remind me of Christmas trees, so when I was planning the series, I knew I wanted to kick things off with these crispy lemon rosemary cookies.  The timing couldn’t be better since Meyer lemons are finally in season here in Austin.  This recipe also features eggs from Ringger Farm and cornmeal from Homestead Gristmill, near Waco, Texas.  The course texture of the Homestead’s cornmeal enhances these cookies’ crunch, and I find these cookies to be more flavorful than ones I’ve made with nationally distributed brands of cornmeal.

Rosemary Lemon Cornmeal Cookies (yields 32 cookies)
adapted from “Cornmeal Cookies,” by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley
Cooking Light, May 2008

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary needles
1 tablespoon grated Meyer lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed Meyer lemon juice
1 egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a cookie sheet with silpat or baking parchment. (Don’t skip this. The finished cookies are very delicate and will lose their shape if they stick to the pan after cooking.)

In a small bowl, sift together flour, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt.  In a large mixing bowl, beat softened butter, sugar, rosemary, lemon rind, and lemon juice until creamy, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.  Add egg and beat until well combined.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until just blended.  Dough will be very soft.

Spoon dough by heaping teaspoons 2.5 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.  Cookies will spread while cooking, so take care not to put dough too close to the edges of the baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 11 1/2 minutes, until lightly browned and almost firm. Remove from oven and cool on pans for 2 minutes or until firm. Remove firm cookies from pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.

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Pizza with Rosemary, Apples and Brie

I have been wanting to make pizza from scratch for a while now, but the whole crust process was pretty intimidating and I couldn’t find a recipe online that I really wanted to use.  Lucky for me, I went to The Essential New York Times Cookbook launch event at Rain Lily Farms this weekend, where I bought a signed copy of Amanda Hesser’s so named new cookbook.

The event was fun for lots of reasons, but the biggest takeaway of the night for me was definitely the book.  It’s 970 pages of awesome recipes. No pictures. No fluff. Just lots and lots of wonderful food, plus Amanda Hesser’s autograph on the inside cover.  (FYI, Christmas shoppers, I called BookPeople this morning and they still had signed copies available.)

The first recipe I tried from the cookbook was Mark Bittman’s Pizza Dough, and boy was it a winner.  It took all of 10 minutes to put together the night before, and another 5 minutes tonight to turn into this lovely rosemary apple brie pizza.  Mark Bittman has published the full recipe, with instructions as they appear in the cookbook, on his website, so I hope you’ll try it too!

Pizza with Rosemary, Apples and Brie
1 recipe pizza dough, such as Mark Bittman’s , divided into two pieces
Toppings:
1 apple, cored and sliced very thin
1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced very thin
6 oz. brie, sliced in pieces
4 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped rosemary
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste

Prepare pizza dough according to recipe the night before and allow to rise in the refrigerator during the day. Preheat oven to 500 degrees.  Remove cold dough from fridge and allow to come to room temperature while you prepare the toppings.  For toppings, remove rosemary needles from woody stem and chop.  Slice half an onion as thin as you can manage and separate the rings. Core the apple and slice very thin.  Slice the brie into pieces. (This will be easier if you put the cheese in the freezer for a few minutes first.)  Peel and chop 4 cloves of garlic.

Prepare two cookie sheets or pizza pans with baking parchment.  Roll out pizza crusts, one at a time, on a floured surface until they are the correct size for your pans.  Mine ended up at 14 x 10 inches, but any size and shape will work.  Transfer to the prepared pans.  Note: If you are using a pizza stone or nicer nonstick baking sheets than I own, feel free to omit the parchment and instead oil the pans. No way can I do that with my cheapo cookie sheets!

Brush each crust with a tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with a tablespoon each rosemary and garlic.  Arrange apple slices, onion pieces and brie on each crust and sprinkle with remaining rosemary.  Drizzle remaining oil over top, along with a few pinches of salt.  Bake in preheated over for 11 minutes.  This recipe makes two medium pizzas, enough for 3-4 adults as a main dish.  Cut into bite-sized pieces, this would be wonderful finger food at a cocktail party.

Here’s my pizza before baking:

And after:

Click here for a printable copy of this recipe.

Rosemary Apple Braid

I made this easy apple danish for a friend’s baby shower at the office today.  It’s a great choice for special occasions because the pretty presentation and sophisticated rosemary apple filling will make you seem like a gourmet chef!  Local box favorites Golden Apples from Apple Country Orchards and Rosemary from Pure Luck Farms are the rock stars of this recipe.

Although the braid looks tricky, it’s actually one of the easiest pastry shapes to master. This recipe is adapted from Dorothea Ladd’s Easy Apple Danish on Allrecipes.com.  I used a food processor and chose the braid shape to save time; My grandmother might argue that this simplified pastry dough is not a true danish since it’s not laminated, but it passes  my family’s taste test for sure.

Rosemary Apple Dutch Braid

Dough
1 .25 ounce packet active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (105-110 degrees)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold butter (no substitutes)
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm milk (105-110 degrees)
2 eggs, beaten
Egg wash: 1 egg yolk, beaten, set aside

Filling
3 cups peeled, chopped apples
3/4 cups chopped pecans
2/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons melted butter

Glaze
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon apple juice

Method: In a small bowl dissolve yeast in warm water.  In a food processor, cut together cold butter, flour and sugar. For most food processors, you will need to do this in two batches.  (If you don’t have a food processor, a pastry cutter or two forks will do the job.) Process flour and butter until mixture resembles crumbly, damp sand. Move flour and butter to a large bowl and add sugar. Stir in the yeast mixture, warm milk, and beaten eggs by hand. Knead the dough in the bowl with a spatula until it is elastic and well combined, about 3 minutes.  Cover and refrigerate at least two hours.

While dough rests, prepare the filling.  Combine the apples, rosemary, sugar, melted butter, and pecan pieces; set aside.

Cover two 15-inch cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat  and set near your workstation. Punch down dough and turn it onto a lightly floured surface.  Divide dough in half, set one half aside.  Roll dough into an 15 by 12 inch rectangle.  Transfer dough to prepared cookie sheet by gently rolling dough onto the rolling pin, moving to cookie sheet and gently unrolling onto the parchment paper.

Place half of filling longways along the middle of the dough, to within a half inch of either end.  Use scissors to cut dough into one inch strips along either side of filling, then fold alternating strips towards the middle of the loaf to create a braid effect.  Repeat the roll/tranfer/fill/braid process with the other piece of dough.  Set both braids aside to rest for about 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Brush the braids with egg wash.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.  Allow braid to cool on the pan for 10 minutes before moving entire loaf and parchment paper to a wire rack to complete cooling.  Prepare glaze by sifting powdered sugar into a small bowl. Whisk in milk and apple juice, and drizzle glaze over top of cooling pastries.  Each loaf yields about 15 slices.

*This post is sponsored by Greenling Organic Delivery and also appears on their blog, “Eating Out of the Local Box.”

Mini Rosemary Pesto Rolls

Rami and I are both in horrible moods since Texas lost to UCLA this afternoon.  We’re drowning our sorrows in rosemary, butter, and bread with these mini pesto rolls I created.

This is the recipe I’ve been tinkering with all week in preparation for the potluck at Greenling’s Best of Austin Bash next Thursday.  It meets the main four requirements for any potluck recipe:

  1. It tastes good.
  2. It’s pretty to look at.
  3. The recipe is cheap and makes a lot.
  4. It’s easy to make ahead of time, freeze and reheat.

Plus, since this is a Greenling potluck, the recipe had to use a lot of local ingredients.  These rolls use sweet potatoes from Naegelin Farms, rosemary and parsley from Pure Luck Farm and Dairy, garlic from Green Gate Farms, and Parmesan from Brazos Valley Cheese.  I am really excited to meet up with some of these farmers on Thursday so I can thank them for helping me to create this delicious recipe!

These rolls are time consuming, but worth it.  The sweet potato in the dough makes the bread very moist and tender.  The rosemary pesto, while too strong for most of my pasta recipes, holds up beautifully in the oven.  I think I’ll definitely be making these for Thanksgiving this year– but earlier in the week than the turkey since they’re so labor intensive.

Rosemary Pesto Rolls (makes about 90 mini rolls or 36 full sized rolls)
Roll Dough:
2 sweet potatoes
1 cup potato cooking water, reserved
2 sprigs rosemary
1 cup milk, room temperature
1 packet active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg
1 tsp. salt
5-7 cups all purpose flour
Pesto filling:
1/3 cup rosemary needles
1 cup parsley
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pecan halves
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup butter

Preparation: Wash and chop sweet potatoes.  Boil unpeeled potato chunks with sprigs of rosemary until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the pesto filling.  Remove the rosemary needles from the woody stem. 

Combine 1/3 cup rosemary needles with the remainder of the pesto ingredients in a food processor.  Pulse until ingredients are processed into a smooth paste.  Scoop out pesto filling and set aside for later use. (You’ll have just over a cup of pesto.)  Clean out the food processor bowl, we’ll use it in the dough prep!

Now, back to the potatoes.  Once they are tender, remove from heat. Use a slotted spoon to remove the rosemary sprigs from the water.  Peel the needles off the woody stem, and mince with a knife.  Put about 1 tbs. of minced rosemary in the food processor bowl.  Remove peel from cooked potatoes and add those to the food processor, too.  Reserve 1 cup of the hot potato water.  Puree the potatoes and rosemary in the food processor.

You should have 1 to 1.5 cups of potato puree.  Add one cup reserved potato water and milk and puree.  The resulting liquid should still be very warm from cooking, about 110 degrees. (Use a thermometer to measure if you’re anal retentive like me.)

Transfer liquid to a large mixing bowl and add yeast and sugar.  Let yeast proof, then add melted butter and beaten egg.  If the liquid is slightly viscous and bubbly, you’re doing it right!

Add about 5 cups of flour to the mixture, stirring constantly. Stir and stir and stir until the dough becomes elastic and begins to pull away from the edges of the bowl.  If it is very humid outside, you may need an additional 1/2 cup or cup of flour for the dough ball to solidify.  Continue stirring until dough loses its sheen and can be removed easily from the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place in a warm spot for about 45 minutes, until dough volume is nearly doubled.

Punch down dough and knead on a floured surface with floured hands.  Once dough holds shape reasonably well, use a pastry cutter to divide into four even pieces.

Now the fun begins!  Set aside the extra dough and work with one piece at a time.  On the floured surface, roll dough until it is 1/4 inch thick and 6-7 inches wide and 18-22 inches long.

Spread 1/4 cup pesto filling on the dough with a spatula. Roll up the dough longways, using the pastry scraper to support the dough if necessary to keep from ripping. The tube of dough should be about the size of a broom handle.

Use un-waxed, unflavored dental floss to cut the roll into one-inch sections. Place the rolls about 1/4 inch apart in a buttered glass baking dish. Brush the tops of the rolls with butter.

Repeat this process three more times with the remaining dough and pesto.  I used one 9×13 pan, one pie pan, and two 7×11 pans to hold all the mini rolls.  Once all the rolls are assembled, cover pans with damp towels and place in a warm spot to rise.  Let sit for about an hour, or until rolls have doubled in size.

Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until rolls are lightly brown.  Eat these right out of the oven, or freeze them for later service. They’re delicious either way!

Rosemary Pecan Pesto

So I’m working really hard to perfect my potluck recipe for Greenling’s Best of Austin Bash next Thursday. I’m not ready to share the whole thing, but I do want to tell you about this fabulous rosemary pesto recipe I created en route to the finished product:

Rosemary Pecan Pesto
1/4-1/3 cup fresh rosemary needles
1 cup fresh Italian curly or flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
3/4 cup pecan halves
1/2 cup olive oil

This pesto is very aromatic, and a nice change from the traditional basil/pine nut preparation. Go easy on the rosemary at first so the flavors don’t get too strong.  Preparation: Strip needles from rosemary stems and chop parsley. Peel garlic. Combine all dry ingredients in food processor and blend or process until coarsely ground. With processor running, stream in oil until pesto reaches desired consistency. If the rosemary flavor is too intense, you can fix it by adding more cheese and parsley to balance it out.

My potluck recipe for the Bash will use the pesto above, plus some other delicious local ingredients. I hope to see some other local food bloggers & their recipes there! 🙂