If you follow me on Instagram you’d be aware that I was diagnosed with a combination of carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis in my right (dominant) wrist just over two weeks ago. Although I’m seeing a specialist, I’m temporarily off work as both conditions reduce my ability to write and type (key aspects of my professional role, unfortunately).
I’ve also been unable to complete upper body workouts at the gym, lift heavy objects, clean the house and cook (chop, whisk, use a mortar and pestle) with my right hand which has led to a lot of frustration and ‘experimental’ left handed activity.
For instance, I’m predominantly typing this blog post with my left hand. It’s gosh-darn slow, but manageable. Left-handed cleaning yielded similar results; slow but steadily achievable.
Left-handed cooking? Uh, let’s just say that I’m far from ambidextrous. Flipping pans was fine, but left-handed chopping was downright dangerous. I ended up positioning the knife with my right hand and pressing down with my left to limit stress through my right arm. I felt like a three-legged tortoise trying to complete an obstacle course (only to be overtaken by a sprightly, ambidextrous hare).
Thankfully, things have improved since the horrid first week and I’m part-way back to normality (with a bit of residual wrist tingling). Props should be given to Aaron for interim nourishment, sous chef services and love, alongside catch-up episodes of Masterchef Australia (for saving me from absolute boredom).
Anyway, I intended this to be a short post (reasons for which should be obvious) and here I am past paragraph four (reasons for which should be obvious; this blog is pretty much an omnibus). Let’s, uh, cut to the chase (that gosh-darn ambidextrous hare) which in this case, is otherwise known as a lemon thyme ice cream sandwich.
The idea for these frozen treats came from (unsurprisingly, refer to above) an episode of Masterchef Australia. The recipe below is mine, however the flavour profile can be mostly credited to contestant Georgia Barnes (her version can be found here).
The cookies below are entirely dreamy; buttery soft (melt in the mouth), lemon scented and slightly savoury thanks to the addition of thyme. They can be eaten on their own with a cup of tea or sandwiched together with creamy ice cream and a drizzle of thyme-infused honey.
As noted, I used Wild Thyme honey from J.Friend and Co which beautifully echoed the herbal notes in the shortbread cookies. However, you can use regular honey, lemon curd or nothing extra at all. It’s entirely up to you.
Enjoy, with sticky fingers and honey dripping down your chin. With either hand (you ambidextrous hare).
Lemon Thyme Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup (250g) salted butter
- 1/2 cup confectioner’s (icing) sugar. sifted
- 1/4 cup cornflour (pure corn, not the wheat variety)
- 1 1/2 cups plain flour
- 1 tbsp lemon zest (roughly the zest from 1 medium lemon)
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme (or lemon thyme) leaves, chopped
In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together with a hand held or electric whisk. When creamy and pale, add in the flour and cornflour. Continue mixing until well combined (the dough will still be rather sticky and soft).
Add in the lemon zest and thyme, then turn out onto a bench lined with plastic wrap. Shape into a log (about 6cm diameter. 20cm length), then transfer to the freezer. Freeze for at least 30 minutes before cutting.
When your shortbread dough is frozen until firm, preheat oven to 170 degrees C (338 degrees f). Line two baking trays with parchment paper, then set aside. Unwrap the shortbread log and slice into 20 x 1-cm rounds. Lay 10 pieces on each baking tray, ensuring that each round is at least 2cm apart (they will spread slightly during the baking process).
Bake immediately for 15-20 minutes* or until pale golden. The cookies will spread a bit and still be slightly soft when you remove them from the oven, so allow them to cool on the baking tray before transferring them to a wire rack.
*I’ve based this recipe on my gas oven with no fan, you might need to watch them a little more if you have a fan-forced electric oven. They spread and brown fast due to the high butter content.
To serve you will need:
- 1 x tub vanilla bean ice cream, softened
- thyme-infused honey, to drizzle, optional (I used J.Friend and Co Wild Thyme Honey)
- edible dried flowers, optional (I used The Essential Ingredient, Salade de Fleurs)
Carefully spread half of the cookies with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream (be careful as the cookies are extremely ‘short’, i.e. crumbly).
Drizzle with a little thyme-infused honey if desired, then sandwich with another cookie (I probably didn’t need to tell you that, but anyway). Dust over a few edible flowers if you’re feeling dreamy.
Serve immediately (and quickly, mine started to melt instantly – hence the messy photos) or re-freeze, wrapped in a loose layer of plastic wrap. Enjoy. Unless you’re Loki. Poor Loki.