shortbread and jam

Shortbread is my favorite.  And lavender-rosemary shortbread is my VERY favorite!  For six months I lived in London and shortbread and tea became a favorite snack.  So did chips and beer, but that’s for a different post.  Another UK takeaway?  Strawberry jam.  For whatever reason, strawberry jam is the most popular flavor in the UK, and all of Europe for that matter.

With spring in full swing my rosemary and lavender plants are ready for picking, and rumor has it that strawberry season has arrived.  So it’s time to stoke that London Town nostalgia and cook up some UK inspired treats!  Or do what I did and ask your sister to make them for you 😉

shortbread ingredients

lavender-rosemary shortbread cookies
3/4 tsp rosemary, chopped
3/4 tsp lavender, chopped
2 heaping tablespoons honey
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups unsalted butter (room temp/softened)
1 cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 2/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
combine the sugar, honey and butter. mix them together in mixer (with the paddle attachment if you have one). add the lavender, rosemary, e.g. yolks, and vanilla. mix everything together again until thoroughly combined.
add the flour and baking powder to the wet ingredients. mix everything on the ‘stir’ setting (or just hand stir) until everything is combined. CAUTION:  don’t over-stir. the dough should be sticky and a little wet
dump the dough onto a piece of parchment paper or cling wrap and form into a log about 1 1/2in in diameter. freeze for a half hour or so.
remove dough from the freezer and slice 1/2 in thick. (or you can roll out on a floured surface and use a cookie cutter). place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, sprinkle with sugar, and bake at 350 for 9-10 min – or when the sides start to turn golden but NOT brown.  remove from oven and cool on cooling rack.
strawberry chia seed jam
24oz strawberries -sliced
2-4 Tbs honey, maple syrup, or agave
2 tbs chia seeds
in a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries and 2 Tbs honey. cover and bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to liquefy (about 5 to 10 min). once the fruit is liquid, bring it to a gentle boil and let cook until it breaks down and becomes saucy, about 5 min. mash lightly until at your desired consistency.
taste the jam for sweetness. if you want it sweeter, stir in additional honey a few tsps at a time.
stir in the chia seeds and let cook one minute. remove the pan from the heat, stir once more, and let sit for 10 min. the jam will continue to thicken as it cools. (if it’s still too thin, add 1-2 tsps of chia seeds)
transfer the jam to an airtight container (mason jar if you have it).  the jam will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or the freezer up to 2 months.

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