Shortbread cookies are one of the easiest recipes to master. Beginner bakers can create delicious cookies without being overwhelmed by complicated ingredients and fussy baking times. With only a few ingredients, shortbread cookies come out of the oven flaky and buttery. Traditional shortbread or butter shortbread is prepared without any additional add-ins. Other popular varieties include those with nuts or garnished with glazed fruits, and are a popular desert served at Christmas and New Years.
Flavoured Shortbread Appetizers
With roots that can be traced back to the Middle Ages in Scotland, savory shortbread has become a popular accompaniment to wine and other appetizers. By adding rosemary and a touch of heat with dried chilies, traditional shortbread takes on bold new flavours when served as an appetizer or on its own.
Savory Shortbread Cookies
Savory shortbread recipes such as this one still requires the dough to be prepared in the same manner as a traditional recipe would be. Vanilla and sugar are still added to create the dough. The sweetness of the cookie does not overpower the spice and flavour of the savory ingredients, but instead they work to balance out the different tastes. Guests will rave at the unique flavour combinations as this recipe makes an easy potluck dish or hostess gift.
For this recipe, fresh rosemary works best, although dried rosemary can also be used. Make sure butter is at room temperature before beginning this recipe for fluffier cookies. Omit the rosemary and chili flakes for traditional butter shortbread.
Savory Rosemary Shortbread with Dried Chilies
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup of butter (unsalted or salted), at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or 1 tsp of dried rosemary
1 tsp dried chili flakes
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
1. Preheat oven to 300 F (150 C). Place room temperature butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or hand mixer until creamy. Slowly beat in sugar and vanilla into butter. Stir until mixed well.
2. In a separate bowl, mix flour and salt. Add chopped rosemary and dried chili flakes and mix well. For less spice, use ½ tsp of chili flakes. Beat flour mixture into butter, kneading into a dough. With lightly floured hands, split the mixture into two evenly-sized balls. Dough can be kept frozen for up to a month when properly stored in the freezer.
3. Butter a 9” pie plate. If using both balls of dough, butter a second pie plate or repeat this step after the first batch is cooled. Press the dough evenly into the pie plate, spreading evenly along the edges of the plate. Sprinkle the dough with fresh rosemary so there is garnish on each slice. Gently prick the surface of the dough with a fork.
4. Place in the oven for 45 minutes or until the top of the shortbread is golden. Slice the dough into 8 equal triangle pieces while the dough is still warm. Allow to cool fully before serving.
For smaller serving sizes, use both balls of dough in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish and slice into squares while the dough is warm. Makes 24 cookies.