Rosemary Pine Nut Shortbreads

Dessert teeters between savory and sweet

By Emily Chavez

Buttery and crumbly shortbread cookies are delicious on their own and satisfy a sweet-tooth craving. 

Yet a simple shortbread also provides the perfect base for the addition of various flavorings. As the season changes and we traverse into cooler temperatures and changing leaves, herbaceous and nutty seasonings fluctuate between savory and saccharine. 

For example, this recipe’s flavor stars are rosemary and pine nuts. However, rosemary is also a welcome addition to such savory items as oven-roasted chicken, and pine nuts pop up in pesto. I recommend experimenting with herb and nut combinations to suit your tastes and experience how each individual ingredient interacts with each other, such as lavender with walnut and sage with pistachios.

Rosemary Pine Nut Shortbreads

Active time: 20 minutes | Total time: 1 hour

Yields 24 cookies


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup finely ground toasted pine nuts

1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Raw sugar, for decorating


Whisk together flour, nuts, rosemary and salt in a large bowl.

Cream butter and sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed until lightened, about 3 minutes. Mix in vanilla at low speed. 

Add flour mixture and continue mixing until dough comes together and is smooth, about 3 minutes.

Turn out dough onto parchment paper, and pat into a round. cover with parchment paper and roll into a 12-inch round, 1/4 inch thick. Transfer to a baking sheet; refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

Use a cookie cutter of choice to cut out cookies, and transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Carefully press raw sugar onto edges of cookies.

Bake until just golden at 300 degrees, 15 to 18 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet set on a wire rack. 

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