Brown Sugar and Rye Shortbread

Go wild when it comes to pressing the cookies before baking: We had good luck with the bottom of a glass, a cocktail muddler, pastry blender, potato masher, and more.

looking at a plate of brown sugar and rye shortbread cookies
Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
22 mins
Stand Time:
5 mins
Total Time:
42 mins
21 cookies


  • 1 cup butter, softened

  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups dark rye flour

  • ¼ cup white sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  2. Stir together butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and pepper in a bowl. Starting at low speed and increasing to medium, beat with an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Continue beating at medium to high speed until mixture is fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add all-purpose flour; mix on low speed until combined. Add rye flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing on low, until combined.

  3. Put white sugar in a small bowl. Scoop out 1 1/2-tablespoon portions of the dough and roll into balls; roll balls in sugar.

  4. Arrange dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Use the bottom of a glass or other kitchen tool to flatten each dough ball a bit to press in designs.

  5. Bake until cookies are lightly browned around the edges, 22 to 24 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container up to 3 days at room temperature or freeze up to 3 months.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

157 Calories
9g Fat
18g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 21
Calories 157
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 12%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 23mg 8%
Sodium 110mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Protein 2g
Potassium 103mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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