I’m a sucker for savory-sweet combinations – so when my Boston Organics box arrived last Thursday and had a clamshell container of rosemary inside I did a little jump of joy. See, I’d been thinking about a savory shortbread for quite awhile after an accidental tweet to the fantastic Shelby saying I owed her some parmesan shortbread. I meant to say parmesan crackers but that accidental tweet started my cooking brain going. There was a salty-sweet cookie that sounded swoon-worthy and it lingered. I started to fantasize about this cookie and spent a lot of baking time playing with it.
Then I tried the Lark’s fine foods Rosemary Shortbread – I ate an entire package of these cookies in a sitting. I would say oops to that lapse in common sense, but I don’t regret it – they were luxurious and decadent with a perfect crumb. Here’s the thing – I am not typically a fan of shortbread in any form. I find it bland and lackluster most of the time. But, this shortbread – the Lark’s and my own are perfect. They are a little sandy and offer just the right amount of sweetness to keep you eating them.
I am hopelessly in love with these cookies, and everyone I’ve shared them with (aside from BF, because he’s not the biggest rosemary fan) has felt similarly. These are rich without being overly so, they are sweet without being cloying, and the rosemary is such an unexpected burst of flavor you really just want to keep eating them until they are all gone.
- 1/2 cup grated asiago or parmesan cheese
- 3-4 Tbs rosemary leaves removed from the stem, more rosemary is a stronger flavor – I prefer more, BF prefers none
- 1- 1 1/2 Tbs maple syrup
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup butter
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and gently swirl it around until it becomes a light brown and smells nutty. DO NOT WALK AWAY FROM THIS BUTTER AT ANY TIME. The butter will burn if you do that, because it’s an evil thing that wants you to waste more butter.
- Set the browned butter aside to cool slightly.
- Add the cheese, rosemary, brown sugar, and maple syrup to the bowl of a food processor, pulse or run this until it resembles wet sand – about fifteen pulses or 45 seconds of steady speed.
- Add the butter to the food processor and allow it to fully absorb into the sugar mixture (this should only take a couple of seconds).
- Add the flour and baking soda and pulse until just combined. The mixture will look like loose pie dough.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap (a couple layers are better, I find) and chill it in the fridge for half an hour to an hour.
- Separate the chilled dough in half.
- Press each half of dough into a 9-inch round cake pan. You may need to crumble the dough up then press it back in tightly. Don’t worry, you won’t hurt it. I usually use a piece of parchment and a ball jar to smooth mine out so it’s even.
- Press the edges of the dough down with a fork, so there are little lines all around (this is my favorite part).
- Bake the shortbread at 325 for 20-25 minutes; the edges will be a light golden brown and they will smell amazing.
- When the shortbread is done, remove it from the oven and immediately flip it out onto a cutting board. Cut this into wedges while it is still warm. If you don’t cut the cookie while it is still warm it will turn to crumbs when you try to cut it later. THIS IS YOUR WARNING.
- Eat this with tea on a sunny porch. You will love it. I promise.