I envy people who enter into the holiday season serenely, with a beatific smile on their faces, declaring that they shopped all of their gifts locally in September, their holiday cards were sent out right after Thanksgiving, their presents are already beautifully and sustainably wrapped, and their Get Ahead Gravy (check our website!) is prepped and in the fridge.
Do those people exist? And how can I shake them?
Yet again, the last week has been rather stressful, with me hectically and very last minute baking up a storm, packing for everyone and trying to not forget anything (too late! We’re sitting in the car and just realized middle’s trumpet is still at home …), fist fighting the ribbons I saved from last year in a zealous but tiresome effort to save the planet and, of course, frantically clicking the „buy now“ button after forgetting a godchild or two.
Thank goodness we had some friends over for a much needed evening of drinks, fondue and great conversations.
And this Savory Mixed-Nut Shortbread, which is an @itsalislagle recipe via @nytimes. A little sweet, a little savory, a little spicy and a whole lot of addictive deliciousness. Super easy to make and so delicious with a glass of festive bubbles!
Let this be a reminder to us all to take a deep, calming breath and try to take it easier. I mean, it usually all works out in the end, right? Right?? 😅
1 cup/227 grams salted butter
1 rosemary sprig, plus 2 tablespoons leaves
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 ½ cups/300 grams all-purpose flour
⅔ cup/132 grams granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
1 ½ cups/115 grams mixed, salted nuts (avoid peanuts if possible), lightly crushed with a heavy skillet or mallet
Heat the oven to 325 degrees. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, rosemary sprig and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook over medium, swirling occasionally, until the butter is just melted. (You can also do this in a bowl in the microwave, stirring between 30-second bursts). Set aside to cool slightly. (Take a whiff of the butter; it smells like rosemary!)
In an ungreased 9-by-13-by-2-inch pan, use a fork to stir together the flour, sugar and cayenne until combined. Remove and discard the rosemary sprig from the butter. Pour the melted butter into the dry ingredients. Stir with a fork to combine, then use your hands to mix until no dry spots remain.
Press the dough evenly into the pan. Prick all over with a fork. Sprinkle the nuts and rosemary leaves on top, shake into a single layer, then press firmly into the dough until the nuts’ sides are surrounded by dough. (This is important, otherwise the nuts won’t adhere.) Sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon sugar and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
Bake until golden brown (including in the center) and the edges start to pull away from the sides, 35 to 40 minutes.
Let cool completely, then gently break up with your hands into jagged pieces. Nuts along the edge may fall out. (Those are yours to eat.) The shortbread will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
Recipe by Ali Slagle via NYT Cooking.