Browned butter, made by melting butter and then letting it continue to cook, caramelizing its natural sugars, is a delicious addition to shortbread. Chopped fresh rosemary adds a slightly herbal edge, and is a perfect compliment to the browned butter and sugary cookie.
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar (white or brown)
1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary (pull the leaves off the stems)
1 tbsp. honey or maple syrup
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1. In a small saucepan, heat the butter until it melts, foams and then starts to turn brown and smell nutty. Pour into a mixing bowl, scraping out any browned bits on the bottom of the pan, and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, put the sugar, rosemary and honey or maple syrup into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until well mulched; the mixture will look like wet sand. Add to the browned butter and mix well. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir just until well blended.
3. Chill the dough for half an hour or so to make it workable, then roll into walnut-sized balls, place them on a baking sheet and press down on them with the bottom of a glass or a cookie stamp, or divide the dough in half and press each into the bottom of a 9″ cake pan, and press around the edges with the tines of a fork. Bake at 325F for 15 minutes (for cookies) or 25 minutes (for wedges), or until pale golden around the edges. If you used cake pans, cut into wedges while still warm.
Makes about 1 1/2 dozen shortbread cookies.