Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Adapted from Gourmet, via Epicurious


2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons mild honey
1/2 cup confectioners sugar (I used a little less regular sugar, but do what you will)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar


Preheat oven to 300°F

In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, and rosemary.

Mix together butter, honey, and confectioners sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at low speed, then add flour mixture and mix until dough resembles coarse meal with some small (roughly pea-size) butter lumps. Gather dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly floured surface. Knead dough until it just comes together, about 8 times. Halve dough and form each half into a 5-inch disk.

Roll out 1 disk (keep remaining dough at room temperature) between 2 sheets of parchment or wax paper into a 9-inch round. Transfer disk carefully to a well-buttered cookie sheet. Score dough into 8 wedges by pricking dotted lines with a fork. Sprinkle dough with 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar. Repeat with remaining dough, on another cookie sheet.

Bake shortbread until golden brown, approximately 25 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes then transfer with a metal spatula to a cutting board and cut along score marks with a large heavy knife.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Caramel Corn

Adapted from DamGoodSweet, by David Guas and Raquel Pelzel via Orangette

A few notes to help you along...mostly thanks to Molly at Orangette:

-Whether you want to use a cup of popcorn kernels and pop it yourself (which is what I did and recommend) or use microwave popcorn, you'll need a whole bowl-full. About 10 cups or so.
- Be sure to have a whisk and a rubber spatula close at hand. You’ll need them both on short notice.
- Before you begin cooking the caramel, measure out the baking soda and the vanilla, and chop the peanuts. You won’t have time to do it later.
- Do not try to make this recipe without a candy thermometer.


1 (3½-ounce) package plain (unbuttered natural flavor) microwave popcorn, or about 10 cups fresh popcorn popped by any method, lightly salted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup (I technically skipped this as I don't like corn syrup, and used a bit more sugar and water.)
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup lightly salted, roasted peanuts, roughly chopped


Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

If using microwave popcorn, pop the popcorn according to the package instructions. Coat a large mixing bowl with nonstick cooking spray, and dump the popcorn into the bowl, taking care to pick out and discard any unpopped kernels.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, salt, and 2 tablespoons of water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continue to simmer, whisking often, until the mixture reads 250°F on a candy thermometer, about 3 to 4 minutes. Immediately remove the pan from the heat, and whisk in the baking soda and vanilla. Quickly pour the hot caramel over the popcorn. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the caramel into the popcorn, taking care to distribute it as evenly as you can. Stir in the peanuts, and transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour, stirring and turning the popcorn with a spatula every 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and place on a cooling rack for 20 minutes. Gently break up the popcorn, and serve. Make sure to sprinkle with enough salt to suit your taste!