"There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray, love, remember"
Hamlet, Act 4, Scene 5
Like no other ingredient, rosemary is full of memories for me.
Life is full of memories. Some are so strong that you can reach out and touch them. Others are mere fragments on the outer limits of your consciousness. They feel like the come from a whole other lifetime.
There are various strands that make up who we are, like the strings attached to a bunch of balloons held tightly in a child's hand. Rosemary always reminds me of one of the strands of my life. I don't often think about the people or places. They've moved on from my life. I've passed out of theirs.
I am not, probably, a very good friend. I drift in and out of contact with people. Often I'll drift so far out of contact that I can't quite see a way back. There some people though who have come into my life and then I've let slip out without really ever acknowledging them and their impact on my own life. I like to think they remember, though, the moments when our lives interacted, when the strands of our lives danced together.
"But all I know of you is my memory
And I all I ask is you, remember me"
Rosemary, Suzanne Vega
All you really need to know is that the original recipe is from Nigel Slater. The rosemary is my addition.
It's not an overpowering flavour, it just flickers around. There's richness from the butter and some ground almonds for texture. Served warm, they are soft and yielding. When cooled, they are more like a proper (English) biscuit but no less delicious for that. Nigel Slater recommends rolling the baked cookies in icing/powdered sugar. I don't think that they really need that myself but I won't judge you if you do.
Almond and rosemary shortbread
Adapted from a Nigel Slater recipe
Yield: 12 cookies
- 170g (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 100g (just under 1/2 cup) demerara/light brown sugar
- 110g (1 1/3 cup) ground almonds
- 200g (1 3/4 cup) plain/all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
- Preheat the oven to 160C/325F. Line a baking tray with non-stick paper.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (you can also use a handheld whisk).
- Add the ground almonds, flour and rosemary and bring together everything with your hands until all the dry ingredients are incorporated.
- Roll tablespoons of dough into a ball, place on the baking tray and flatten.
- Bake for 25 minutes until the edges of the cookies are just starting to brown. Remove from the oven and leave on the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.