Rosemary Shortbread

It’s no wonder why shortbread has been around as long as it has (centuries!), all you need is butter, powdered sugar and flour. That’s it. Of course there are all kinds of variations, as I tried with a Chocolate Espresso version a while back. But I do appreciate a simple recipe at times. I found this Rosemary Shortbread in my Blue Bottle Coffee Cookbook, which I go to once and while for a little something that will go well with coffee. And since my rosemary outside seemed to weather the winter season pretty well I thought it might be nice to bring some inside and bake with it. I really expected this shortbread cookie to be more savory, but actually it’s sweet and flavorful with just a hint of rosemary, I haven’t used rosemary in desserts much so I wasn’t sure what to expect, I can only say that these are delicious. Perfect with a cup of coffee. Oh, and did you know that it’s now recommended to down as much coffee as possible? It seems more and more that everything the experts told us to avoid eating or drinking, now say different, eat those eggs, drink that coffee! Sugar however still seems to be on the no-no list. Well at least in moderation. And I would consider this shortbread moderate. 

The photos were all taken with 50mm lens, some natural light and some studio light, it’s been rainy and the sun has been unpredictable so I’m jumping back and forth throughout the day because if I can get natural light I will grab it up, but I tell you I can’t complain, we’ve had an early spring here in Portland and it’s felt really good. Recipe below, enjoy!

Rosemary Shortbread

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/3 cup almonds (optional)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing

Place the butter In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment and beat on low speed until smooth for 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar, rosemary, and salt and continue to mix on low speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then mix on medium speed until lighter in color and the texture resembles mayonnaise for 4-5 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the flour and almonds. Mix on low speed until uniform in texture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix on low speed for 1 minute. 

Gather the dough into a ball and transfer to a piece of plastic wrap, cover with a second piece of plastic wrap and flatten to form a rectangle measuring 7 x 10 inches, about 1/2” thick. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 5 days.

Preheat the oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cut the dough into small rectangles measuring 1 x 2 inches. and place the cookies on the lined baking sheet, spacing them at least 1 inch apart. Bake for about 18 minutes, until golden around the edges, rotating the pan midway.

Brush the tops with olive oil as soon as the cookies come out of the oven. Let cool on the pan for 10 minutes before removing, then let cool completely before serving for optimal texture. After cooling store in an airtight container, the cookies will keep for up to 3 days.

To use a shortbread mold instead, press the just-made dough into an 8-inch baking dish and flatten into an even layer. Bake at 350° for about 12 minutes, until edges begin to brown. Let cool for 10 minutes then invert onto sheet pan, brush with olive oil and let cool completely.