I know, it sort of sounds a little weird, but the more I thought about it the more I could almost taste it...and somehow I just knew it would be awesome. I could taste the sweetness of the cookie dough co-mingled with toasted rosemary and walnuts. Then I thought, wait... something is missing. What does it need...? It needs citrus. Orange zest will tie it all together. This is still at the imagination stage, mind you.
Finally the curiosity got the best of me, and I did something I never do - made a spontaneous trip to the grocery store for just three ingredients. I knew it was probably going to be one of those things that was either incredibly amazing or absolutely terrible, despite the wonderful 'flavor' I had in my mind...but i had to try it.
Although I often make up recipes, it can still be a little bit daunting sometimes to hope you get the balance of flavor just right on the first try. But I decided to take a leap of faith and mix up a full batch instead of an experimental sized portion, and thank goodness I did because this unlikely cookie combo was a hit and it was well-loved at Christmas, even by Santa who thanked me for being so adventurous this year :)
I knew I was on to something when my fiancé took his first bite and said "Woooooow, what IS that I'm tasting??" (and then proceeded to scarf down about a half dozen more...)
It occurs to me now that I could have easily done a search to see if there was already a recipe like this, but I didn't want to lose that wonderful feeling of freedom that comes from cooking from my own intuition. I don't like being influenced when it comes to ingredients to add or even a ratio of those ingredients. (I'm the same way with crafting - if I have an idea I refuse to look it up until after I have finished my project. There is just something so satisfying about creative problem solving!) There
• 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/3 sticks unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 TBS chopped fresh rosemary
• 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
• 2 teaspoons orange zest (zest from one medium orange)
Preheat the oven to 325˚F with the racks in the lower and middle position.
Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, mix the melted butter, sugars, egg and vanilla until blended.
Heat a small frying pan over medium heat, dry (no oil) and add the chopped rosemary and walnuts, stirring regularly for several minutes until toasted. Add the orange zest and mix just before removing the pan from the heat.
Add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture along with toasted nut mixture and fold in until it forms a dough.
Roll out the dough to a thickness of about 1/4 inch and cut out with cookie cutters if desired. Bake at 325˚ on a foil covered baking sheet for 12 to 14 minutes. Remove from oven and let the cookies cool on the baking sheet.
For large chunky chewy cookies, spoon blobs of dough about the size of a golf ball onto a foiled baking sheet. Bake at 325˚ for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet to keep cookies chewy.
Do you ever cook intuitively? I challenge you to experiment more in the kitchen this coming year. You never know what hidden culinary gems are lying just beneath the surface, waiting to be discovered!