Well, I did it. I got through my Masters degree! Results pending, I am almost a fully qualified therapist. How’s that for daunting?
With no study hanging over my head, I feel a lightness that I have not experienced in a long time. It took less than two hours after finishing my final exam for me to use my new freedom as a springboard to gleefully jump out of the solitary confinement of exam study into the beautiful chaos of Christmas.
We’ve already started our Christmas festivities celebrating with over 65 of our closest friends over for our annual Christmas breakfast, I’ve been Christmas light looking, sang and danced my way through a Christmas Carol event, and even started baking Christmas treats.
We entertain a lot over Christmas – and in mass. Because of the sheer volume, we tend to favour platters that people can graze on, rather than a sit-down meal – which we save until the big day. We usually have a massive spread of cheeseboards, generous slices of ham, and tiers of Christmas baking, including rum balls, white Christmas, gingerbread, and various other holiday treats. Of course, although we have our favourite recipes that we make year in year out, I love using this time of the year to try out new recipes to share.
Blurring the boundary between sweet and savoury has become one of my favourite pastimes lately. Given that this seems to happen a lot at Christmas anyway – ham with an orange clove glaze, turkey and cranberry – of course I was never going to stop there. Although I had never tried making savoury style shortbread before – these buttery rosemary and sea salt shortbread have become an instant hit. They go perfectly on a cheeseboard or on the treat platter – seamlessly tying together all of the elements.
- 2 cups plain wholemeal flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tbls honey
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon plus 1 pinch ground sea salt
- 1 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 to 2 teaspoons rosemary
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, rosemary and salt. Add butter and honey, and pulse to fine crumbs. Pulse a few more times until some crumbs start to come together, but don't overprocess. Dough should not be smooth.
- Press the dough into an ungreased slice tin. Prick the dough all over with a fork and sprinkle with extra sea salt. Bake until golden brown, about 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cut into squares (or any other shape) while still warm.
What’s your favourite Christmas recipe? I’d love for you to share in the comments below!