s01e09 Rosemary Shortbread Bars

I love when savory and sweet flavors are paired to give an unexpected twist. In this case, rosemary enhances the buttery goodness of shortbread. Add some flakey salt on the top for a tongue explosion and you’ve got yourself a winner.

There are many ways to do shortbread (see variations below) but just remember to keep the 1 cup flour to 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter ratio intact and you can change up the rest. To get the best texture for shortbread, cut the butter into the sugar cold instead of softening it to give the cookie a tender texture. But if you can’t do that, it’ll still be a good cookie – just different.

Let’s get to this!

Rosemary Shortbread bars

1 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Combine the flour, rosemary and salt. Set aside.

Cut cold butter into powdered sugar until fully mixed. Easiest with a stand mixer or food processor, but use what you have (even if it is just manually). Gradually add flour mixture until well blended.

Press into a 8- or 9-inch greased baking pan, top with some flakey salt, and bake at 350ºF for 35-40 minutes or until the top becomes a golden brown. Cut into bars or squares while still warm and cool in the pan before removing.

Variations on ingredients:
1. Sugar: Add more or less sugar to adjust to your tastes. Use granulated sugar if you want a rougher texture.
2. Salt: Make it more salty, make it less salty. Salt isn’t a necessary ingredient for this recipe.
2. Accent: Instead of rosemary, you can also use lavender, honey, nuts, seeds, zest, vanilla extract, toffee bits, or anything else you might think of. Experiment and let me know how it goes.
3. Topping: Instead of flakey salt, do an egg wash or coat with granulated sugar.

Variations on shapes:
1. Shape into two 1-1/2-in. diameter rolls (or larger if you want); wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or freeze for at least an hour. Cut into 1/4-in. slices. Bake for 11-13 minutes.
2. Roll dough out to 1/4″ thick between two sheets of parchment paper. Make it round and cut into wedges. Or use a cookie cutter to make shapes.

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