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Rosemary and Toasted Caraway Shortbread

Rosemary and Toasted Caraway Shortbread

Somehow, I’ve managed to avoid all conversations related to snowmaggedons, polar vortexes, and solar vortexes. And yet, I could feel it coming. The itch to to flee. I get that way a lot. In a funk. When nothing feels like it’s quite in its right place. I immediately start throwing things away, including things that don’t belong to me; I would like to publicly apologize for tossing out your beloved stapler, Matt.

There’s too much paperwork piling up on my desk. Too little space in my pantry. Too many boxes stashed underneath a desk that surely doesn’t belong in my bedroom. On and on. Most of all, I know when I’ve got it because I can feel a sense of creative void. This is my polar vortex. When I cannot bear the site of another beet at the farmer’s market. When my usually comfortable, worn-in, dimpled spot on the couch feels the way that it did when I was bearing down labor contractions. I want to crawl into a small space and tuck my knees under my chin.

I wrote about March being devoid of happiness…sort of. Yet, the truth is, March has been a pretty great month. I’ve been in a bit of a funk all winter and it hasn’t been entirely about the weather which, let’s be real, has been pretty great here in the Bay Area.

Rosemary and Toasted Caraway Shortbread

But I’ve come out on the other side in a very significant way, I hope.

I always thought that 30 was going to be the age when I’d really know myself. I’d have a yoga routine and maybe a therapist. I’d own a very expensive eye cream and establish a beauty routine. I would own the home that I live in, or at least have a washer and dryer.

The truth is, 30 has been awkward and weird. I feel at the top of my game professionally. And despite slacking on a workout routine, I actually think I’m in pretty good shape. I have never seen a therapist, even when I was pretty sure I really, really needed to. And I just can’t commit to yoga. Can’t do it. With San Francisco being pretty much the most expensive place in America to buy a home, owning is sort of a pipe dream. I still haven’t figured out what balance means. I always overreact. And I think I actually cry more now than I did when I was fifteen and going through a different kind of awkward phase.

Rosemary and Toasted Caraway Shortbread

No one tells you this stuff! All everyone ever says these days is how 30 is the new 20 and you really find yourself and you finally feel comfortable in your own skin. But I actually think I lost myself a little there and I’m slowly getting me back.

I want to say all this in the context of shortbread because lately, my favorite thing to do is sit around with a good girlfriend, drink tea, and eat cookies. And because we’re all profesh and all now, it feels more appropriate to enjoy said cookies in a more ‘adult’ way — a savory/sweet kind of way.

Rosemary and Toasted Caraway Shortbread

So here we are. I am 30 going on 31. I still prefer to start my sentences with ‘so’ and although, for a while there, I gave up the Oxford Comma, I am 100%, fully, reclaiming it now. That, and other things, too.

Rosemary and Toasted Caraway Shortbread

Rosemary and Toasted Caraway Shortbread
adapted from Bon Appetit

1 teaspoon of caraway seeds
2 sticks (1 cup) of cold, unsalted butter, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons of finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus leaves, for topping
1 large egg, beaten
turbinado sugar, for sprinkling

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Add the caraway seeds to a small skillet and heat over medium-high. Cook until fragrant (about two minutes). Transfer seeds to a cutting board and chop.
2. Add the butter, sugar, powdered sugar, and salt to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a beater attachment and beat until light and fluffy (7–10 minutes). Reduce to low speed and add the flour, chopped caraway seeds, and 2 teaspoons of chopped rosemary. Beat briefly to combine.
3. Next, press the dough into either two 8″ cake pans or square brownie tins (I used the latter). Brush with egg wash and generously sprinkle with turbinado sugar and rosemary leaves.
4. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until tops are golden brown and edges begin to pull away from the pan. Transfer shortbread to a wire rack to cool, then cut into squares, rectangles, or wedges.

Musical Pairings: The War on Drugs – Lost In The Dream + Rosemary and Toasted Caraway Shortbread

The War on Drugs - Lost in a Dream More on the Turntable.

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Posted by Kasey


Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • Kathryn

    A lot of this really resonated with me; I don’t think 30 is really what I expected it to be and I certainly don’t feel like I have any of the togetherness that I feel should accompany such an age. I’m pretty sure I’m still making it up as I go along. Although I can’t agree with you re the oxford comma ; )

    I do like the idea of these grown up cookies – I love rosemary in sweet applications and the addition of toasted caraway here sounds just wonderful.

  • cindy ensley

    Sitting around with a good girlfriend, drinking tea, and eating cookies will always be one of my favorite things to do. I get that. I turn 30 in a few months and I’m glad to hear a different perspective since it feels daunting that I’m supposed to just have it together all of the sudden when it arrives. I’m sure I won’t!

  • Melissa // the faux martha

    I smiled the entire way through this post. Maybe it was more of a smirk. I’m with you. 100%. You said it all far more beautifully than I could ever articulate. But I’m with you. SO with you :)

  • BGSK

    There is something so heartening about coming out the other side of a funk, I think. It’s actually one of the only times I feel consciously mature at age (almost) 30.

  • Heather Christo

    I am happier every year I get further into my 30′s. Just look back at your twenties and feel the growth. I don’t think we ever have it all figured out, but the journey is part of the experience. I have to remind myself all the time to just “be” instead of always trying to figure it out- a woman’s nature, perhaps. The great part about a loooong winter (real or metaphorical) is that you always know Spring is right around the corner :)

  • Kate Ramos

    Some days I can’t believe how old I am, but in retrospect I wouldn’t want to be younger. Every year I feel like I become more myself even if there are months in there where I can’t figure out who I’ve become. These cookies look just perfect, I wish we lived closer so I could share them with you.

  • Eileen

    Wow, the idea of caraway in a shortbread is really intriguing! I love it. And count me as one of the people glad to be in their 30s–especially because the older I am, the more comfortable I get with myself. It’s going to be great.

  • erin @ yummysupper

    Hey you, I have to say…. I thought 30 was brutal. All that pressure to really know one’s self just didn’t resonate for me. I was a new mother of a baby who fussed all the time. I was sleep deprived, totally out of shape, covered in spit up stains…the definition of haggard.

    It may be a cliche and sound annoying, but in my experience it does get so much easier. And 40, while terrifying to approach, is actually really nice. I no longer even attempt a yoga routine. I’m pretty forgiving of myself, or maybe just to tired to worry about it all.


  • Kasey

    I am so glad! I think 30 is kinda like ‘womp womp.’ You realize that you still don’t have it figured out. But, hey, I’m glad I’m not the only one. I think as I near 31, I’m actually feeling like I’m ok with it!

  • Kasey

    It’s kinda like motherhood – don’t listen to how other people say it should be! I think you just have to make it whatever it will be for you…and just…full steam ahead :) I’m realizing NOBODY has it together, ever. :)

  • Kasey

    I love that. You are awesome. That is all.

  • Kasey

    Oh interesting! I think I’ve felt mature for a long time…now I’m just starting to become a little grumpier and more neurotic ;)

  • Kasey

    This is great to know! I’ve never thought about the always trying to figure it out part as something that we women tend to stress about…but I think you are totally right about that! Long winter begone! xo

  • Kasey

    I don’t think I want to necessarily turn back the clock, I just wish I didn’t take each day for granted so much. But I totally know what you mean – about having on and off days/weeks/months. Onward and upward :)

  • Kasey

    It definitely seems like 30s are a controversial age – I certainly have no problem with the number, maybe just its weight :) And yes, caraway in shortbread: try it!

  • Kasey

    You have such an incredible and refreshing perspective, Erin. You and some of the other moms out there are what inspire me to just keep on doing it and remember that the tough times do pass. I write this during a brief respite from Neko’s ongoing teething saga :) You make 40 look damn good, btw. I hope to one day travel the way you did with your fam, too. It’s so awesome that you did that!!

  • erin @ yummysupper

    Kasey, I just remember how hard it was to be a mama to young ones – you love them madly but there’s relentless need, which is so hard. Teething, illness, sleeplessness,developmental stuff…it’s a big load for moms.

    For what it’s worth… until Lilah, my younger, turned 4, I never could have imagined taking my family around the world. But things suddenly got so much easier once the kids became adaptable and adventurous. Out trip was one of the great joys of my life and it wouldn’t have had the magic without the kiddos. I hope you guys can do it too!


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