WAIT A SECOND.
There are no leaves on the trees and my weather app is showing a big, rude MINUS sign before the numbers (I’m still using Celcius). My mood swings between excited for the snow to dreading the wind and so.
How I feel about the weather is reflective of how I feel about life in general at the moment. Half excitement and half dread. My masters degree has come to a finish (or a grand finalé, I like to think of it, because this quarter I studied in London and won a shopper marketing competition… recruiters, are you listening? Just kidding). While the prospect of finding challenging and fun work with passionate people (and of course, finally earning some $) is exciting, I dread the process. Recruitment is many things but predominantly it is quite daunting.
The good news is that when I’m stressed I .. (no surprise) bake. Baking or cooking, has been my go-to strategy whenever I’m anxious and here’s why: It channels my energy in a creative way and the result is immediate. When I peer into my fridge wondering how my ingredients can be put to use, the creative juices start flowing. A mini-brainstorming session takes place until finally I have an idea that fits what I want to eat and is executable and in an hour or two, its sitting there on my kitchen counter - and immediately, I feel productive and happy. And I haven’t even eaten it yet.
The festive season has brought so much inspiration that I’m constantly in the kitchen. My lemon curd and rosemary cookies are not exactly christmassy but they remind me of my family, who I wish I could go home to for the holidays! And also a moment of appreciation for the achievement that is these cookies because they were made with 3 of us crammed into my TEENNY TINY kitchen making 3 different kinds of cookies, mulled wine, eggnog and chicken tikka so its a miracle that theres no chocolate chips, cayenne pepper, cardamom or garlic in these!
It tastes quite like a lemon tart on a shortbread-y base. They’re not sweet at all though, so if you like it sweeter, I’d recommend adding 2 tablespoons extra condensed milk to the lemon curd.
Here’s the complete recipe
175 g unsalted butter, softened
60 g condensed milk or sweetened creamer
250 g plain flour
1 egg yolks
Pre-heat oven to 350˚ F (180˚C)
Place a cookie sheet or a sheet of parchment paper on a baking tray
Cream butter and condensed milk until light
Add the yolks one at a time and beat until combined
Mix in flour and combine with a spatula and using your hands until a dough forms
The dough should be more sticky than flour-y (but not too sticky - it shouldn’t stick to your hands)
Roll the dough into a ball
Flatten slightly and roll, using a rolling pin until about 1/2cm thick.
Using a cookie cutter, cut small circles and transfer to baking sheet
Bake for about 23 - 25 minutes.
When done, let them cool fully.
While the cookies are in the oven, make the lemon curd.
The lemon curd
1/2 cup ground sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup cream
2 tbsp condensed milk (optional)
Whisk the eggs till very fluffy.
Add the sugar and continue to whisk until light and creamy.
Add the lemon juice and rind and continue to whisk.
Put it on a double boiler over low heat.
Continue to whisk by hand until it thickens to pudding-like consistency. This will take about 10 mins so be patient!
Remove from heat and add unsalted butter. Stir until it dissolves.
Cool on an ice bath and add the cream Stir till smooth
Add condensed milk if you like it sweeter.
When the cookies have cooled, its very simple. Just dollop a small amount (about 1 tsp) onto the centre of each cookie and top with a single rosemary leaf.