While rosemary may seem like a strange addition to at first glance, it works so perfectly in these shortbread cookies that I'd argue they're actually better than the original. There's something so interesting about how the subtle hit of resinous herb works with this sweet, buttery cookie.

Advertisement

Ingredients

16
Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

    Advertisement
  • Place cold butter, sugar, rosemary, salt, and vanilla extract in bowl. Combine with the back of a spatula or spoon, slowly incorporating ingredients together until butter has softened somewhat and ingredients come together.

  • Pour flour into bowl with butter mixture. Flour your hands to then incorporate flour into the butter, using fingertips and rubbing mixture together until flour-y crumbs become buttery crumbs, 1 to 2 minutes. Press mixture together into a dough ball.

  • Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface. Press dough into a disk, then into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten dough to 1/4-inch thick using a flat pan or rolling pin. Reshape into a rectangle.

  • Cut dough lengthwise into 5 even strips about 1 inch wide, trimming extra dough if necessary. Cut each strip into 6 evenly sized squares. (You can roll out scraps to form more cookies if necessary). Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each cookie with about a pinch of sugar. Using a fork, poke 4 rows of holes into each cookie.

  • Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 50 minutes.

  • Cool cookies 10 minutes on sheet; transfer cookies to rack to cool completely.

Chef's Note:

The bake time given is just a guide. It depends on the shape and thickness of your cookies, so be sure to start checking them at around 40 to 45 minutes. You can pull them as soon as they turn golden, but that depends on how mild a flavor you want.

Tips

The magazine version of this recipe uses 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract.

Nutrition Facts

192 calories; 1.9 g protein; 20.5 g carbohydrates; 30.1 mg cholesterol; 121.9 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (25)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/16/2015
Pro tip 1: Use the best butter you can. I used fancy Irish butter and, since it was salted, withheld the kosher salt. I also beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on low, then beat in the flour, and only THEN used my hands to work it together. It seems too dry at first, but then, miraculously, it's dough! Pro tip 2: You can cut it into any shape you like. Trees would be cute for Christmas. I used a patterned rolling pin to give mine a herringbone pattern, then cut it into circles with a biscuit cutter. Pro tip 3: Rosemary and chocolate are amazing together. I dipped an edge of each baked cookie in melted dark chocolate and sprinkled with Maldon sea salt and minced rosemary before the chocolate set. Heaven! ... I was a little short on rosemary for the second batch, so I only used 1 tablespoon and that was plenty. :) Read More
(30)
34 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 33
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
12/16/2015
Pro tip 1: Use the best butter you can. I used fancy Irish butter and, since it was salted, withheld the kosher salt. I also beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on low, then beat in the flour, and only THEN used my hands to work it together. It seems too dry at first, but then, miraculously, it's dough! Pro tip 2: You can cut it into any shape you like. Trees would be cute for Christmas. I used a patterned rolling pin to give mine a herringbone pattern, then cut it into circles with a biscuit cutter. Pro tip 3: Rosemary and chocolate are amazing together. I dipped an edge of each baked cookie in melted dark chocolate and sprinkled with Maldon sea salt and minced rosemary before the chocolate set. Heaven! ... I was a little short on rosemary for the second batch, so I only used 1 tablespoon and that was plenty. :) Read More
(30)
Rating: 5 stars
12/16/2015
Pro tip 1: Use the best butter you can. I used fancy Irish butter and, since it was salted, withheld the kosher salt. I also beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on low, then beat in the flour, and only THEN used my hands to work it together. It seems too dry at first, but then, miraculously, it's dough! Pro tip 2: You can cut it into any shape you like. Trees would be cute for Christmas. I used a patterned rolling pin to give mine a herringbone pattern, then cut it into circles with a biscuit cutter. Pro tip 3: Rosemary and chocolate are amazing together. I dipped an edge of each baked cookie in melted dark chocolate and sprinkled with Maldon sea salt and minced rosemary before the chocolate set. Heaven! ... I was a little short on rosemary for the second batch, so I only used 1 tablespoon and that was plenty. :) Read More
(30)
Rating: 5 stars
05/12/2017
This recipe is worthy of TEN stars! Absolutely delicious flavor and very tender shortbread. One of the reviewer's suggestions worked well and helped to speed up the process and yet did not compromise the quality. Instead of using a spoon to hand mix/blend the butter with the rosemary and list of items leading up to the flour, go ahead and put them into a food processor to blend. Then add the flour, using your fingers to blend. I have given this shortbread to a number of people, and everyone wants the recipe! Every recipe I've tried from Chef John has been delicious. 'Am curious about his background, and really appreciate him sharing such terrific recipes! Thank you! Read More
(11)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
03/15/2018
When one becomes a dolt, maybe that was an adult, complexity outweighs sweetness. This was an example. Read More
(5)
Rating: 5 stars
05/15/2018
These taste awesome. Just like the good shortbread cookies I buy at the store. I did leave out the rosemary though (I'm not thrilled about the flavor). The only problems I had with this recipe is 50 minutes is way too long at 300 degrees. I made the cookies 1/4" thick and checked at 40 minutes and they were more than done. I should have checked at 25-30 minutes. They also came out flat but the taste is great. I will definitely make it again. I did increase the sugar by 1/4 cup and increased the vanilla to 3/4 teaspoon. Some of them I sprinkled cinnamon sugar on the top before baking. I will definitely be making this again. The bad thing is they taste so good that you can't stop eating them.:) Edit: I roll the dough into a log and put in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Then cut 1/4" thick and bake on parchment paper for about 20 minutes. Cold dough will not go flat. Perfect cookies. Yummm. Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
02/14/2019
This was a classic shortbread recipe brought into the current scene with the addition of Rosemary, of all things. WONDERFUL, folks were arguing over who would get the last cookie. FANTASTIC. I used dried rosemary from my garden - about a tsp., ground fairly fine. ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. I'm making more today... Read More
(3)
Advertisement
Rating: 5 stars
12/09/2016
I did exactly as the recipe called for except I used 1 to 1 gluten free baking flour they still turned out light crisp and floral. SO good. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
02/12/2017
These were great! I'm not a skilled baker and I panicked a little when I was forming the dough as it was really flaky and not holding together. But as the butter softened it assumed a more workable consistency. If you have the same issues as me I'd recommend just working the dough more and not being afraid to let the butter melt more when you are adding the flour. If you like combos of savory and sweet you will probably like this recipe.:) Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
01/12/2018
I made these as a Chritmas gift for my friends at the office and they were a hit. Great texture and the rosemary added wonderful unexpected flavor. I will make these again. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
12/22/2017
Sublime! Made for hubby's office holiday party and got rave reviews. Followed to the letter. Perfect! Read More
(1)