Thursday, March 5, 2009

Nutmeg and rosewater, oh my...

I love so many of the flavors of medieval and renaissance cookery, and one of the most accessible recipes is this delightful variant on shortbread. I have found that people either love or hate the flavor of rosewater; while I love it, I have had otherwise adventurous friends say "nuh-unh, smells like soap". Of course, I feel the same way about the flavors of rosemary and cloves, (which for me are forever associated with one particular housemate years ago who doused his beautiful long red hair liberally with rosemary oil as hair conditioner, and the unfortunately ubiquitous clove cigarettes from the same era. Be that as it may, I find these small cookies a treat...

Shrewsbury Cakes - Madge Lorwins redaction
1/4c sugar

1/2c butter

1c sifted flour

1 1/2 t nutmeg

1 1/2 t rosewater

Cream the sugar and butter together well.
Sift flour with the nutmeg.
Add rosewater to the butter/sugar mixture.
Stir in the dry ingredients.
Chill the dough for 10 minutes, for easier rolling.
Roll out to 1/4" thick on a lightly floured surface.
Cut into small cookies, rounds or simple shapes.
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350F
- for about 12 minutes till barely browned.
Cool and store in a tin
(if you don't eat them all up, they keep very well)


  1. I admit that I don't enjoy floral flavors in my food. I am a rosemary gal. But I think we can still be friends. Right?

  2. Of course we can still be friends, I don't expect my friends to share my entire rather quirky set of likes and dislikes, just to have some common ground...

  3. I've been stuck at home with a miserable cold, and somehow fell across the threshold of your blog. I think we're kindred spirits, and not just because we own the same kitchen canisters.