Friday, May 8, 2015

Rosemary Shortbread Cookies – Not for Nothing

As I was making these rosemary shortbread cookies, I couldn’t help but think of one of my many culinary pet peeves, which is when people add some random ingredient to a recipe, just for the sake of making it different. This is not one of those times.

While rosemary may seem like a strange addition at first glance, it works so perfectly in these, 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.

I should mention that the 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 40-45 minutes. You can pull them as soon as they turn golden, but that depends on how mild a flavor you want.

The longer they bake, the darker they get, and the nuttier the butter gets. Some prefer their shortbread cookies light and mild, while others will let them go until they turn brown. If you haven’t made them before, I’m afraid you’ll have to do some tests. I hope you give these amazing shortbread cookies a try soon. Enjoy!

Extra Credit Project: Make these using a round cookie cutter, and use them to make  strawberry ice cream sandwiches.


Ingredients for about 32 Rosemary Shortbread Cookies:
8 oz (1 cup) cool unsalted butter, cut into thin slices
1/2 cup white sugar
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp kosher salt or 1/2 tsp fine table salt
2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary (but do not mince, or it may be too strong)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (10 oz by weight)

21 comments:

Chris Allen said...

These cookies sound amazing. I will definitely give them a shot sometime next week. Tell me that you did not shave your knuckles for the making of this video. We love Chef John just like he is, in all of his hairy glory!

Rani McCann said...

Hey Chef John,
Just wanted to say g'day from New Zealand! I've just tried your Rosemary shortbread and they are scrumptious! The only difference between mine and yours is that mine weren't as evenly sized! I love your food blog and have learnt heaps over the last three years! Thank you & cheers, Rani

Ayx said...

Chef John.. You've done it again! I've made these before watching a movie with my girlfriend and boy was she impressed!! (We both were!). I wasn't sure how the rosemary was going to work, so I used 1.5 tbsp rather than 2, but they were amazing! (Next time I will go for 2 tbsp). My girlfriend actually said "these are the best home-made cookies I have ever had". You do say you're not a cookie guy and we don't see many dessert recipes but please make more.

Rani McCann said...

Greetings from New Zealand! I made your cookies yesterday and they tasted great but were quite crunchy. i thought they'd be more like short bread? Also any chance you can add a button so I can have your cooking measurements in the metric system? I love your work Chef John!

Chef John said...

I would be happy to put a button for metric on the recipes, as soon you figure out who is going to do all the work converting the numbers. ;)

godoriz said...

One tip from my Scottish GGG-Grandmother: Cook shortbread on a brown paper bag, not a cookie sheet. The paper absorbs excess butter and they turn out amazing!

Ed said...

Hi Chef John,

Tried these yesterday and they are so good!
I'm in Christchurch New Zealand, and at 300F they seemed to only take 25 mins to cook, but are delicious. You are totally right about leaving them in to turn slightly darker brown, the butter does make them really nutty.
Thanks again :)

brandon walker said...

Hi chef John,

Is there a way to carmelized sweet cream and chocolate? so that it won't melt in your hands?

gripper999 said...

I've made these biscuits twice now. Nobody can stop eating them. Including me. And I don't even fancy rosemary. Cheers Chef John.

Claire Lee said...

Hi Chef John, these cookies were a big hit at my friend's birthday party! I'm trying to make second attempt but now im out of butter.. Would it work with margerines instead of butter?

Chef John said...

NOOOOOOOO! Sorry, no.
Never use margarine for anything!

Felony Flavors Martin said...

Hi Chef John,
I am very eager to try this recipe. I really enjoy combining what would be considered odd foods and ingredients together for extraordinary flavors. I recently got a hold of a large amount of fresh organic rosemary but had to dry it because I wanted to preserve it for later use. Can you use dry rosemary in these cookies and if so what amount and how finely minced should it be?

Mahalo

Docxter Sherfly said...

Hi Chef John, i have a question about the rosemary, the thing is have two stages of rosemery in my posession, fist one that is very dry, the leaves almost break when i move them and easily fall of the stem, and second some rosemary that is nearly fresh, it is a bit dry but not too much, which should i use?? or is it better to wait till the semi-fresh dries up a little??

Sorry if you don't understand something, english isn't my native language

Chef John said...

You want to use the freshest rosemary you can!

Docxter Sherfly said...

Thanks a lot

gripper999 said...

I made these again and served them warm from the oven with jam. Spectacular. Thank you Chef John.

Shannon Wood said...

I'm made these several times since the recipe has been posted :S they are very good and turn out just like the video! Our favorite way is to make half the recipe, and press it into a tart pan. Bake, cool and top with fresh fruit and whipped cream or custard! If you bake them golden like chef johns they are perfect, if you underbake them they taste kind of like chapstick...

Diana said...

Hi Chef John. I have made these three times.. They are the best cookie I have ever made or tasted. Once I browned the butter for a different recipe but couldn't make it because I was out of a vital ingredient. So I used it in the shortbread recipee. It was good too. Thank you for all your entertaining videos and great recipees. Your name with recipe title is my first google search for a recipe no matter what I'm looking for!

Robert Randazzo said...

Chef John,

I followed your recipe and the cookies are in the oven RIGHT NOW! I've had very good rosemary cookies before, but I have a feeling these will be even better. Thanks for the video!

-Rob

Elizabeth Louis-ferdinand said...

I have made these twice and my cookie dough seems to be dry. They still taste great but I don't know what I am doing wrong. Should I add more butter or cut back on flour?

FrancesC said...

@RaniMcCann and @ChefJohn - not to kick anyone off Food Wishes, but...
in cases like this, you could use the (kind of hard to find) metric button on the
Allrecipes' version of this recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/242463/chef-johns-rosemary-shortbread-cookies/
Click on the little pie icon next to the number of servings, and you can change the measurements to metric.
Now, if only we could convert the U.S. measurements from volume to weight!