Savory Shortbread Cookies with Rosemary
Say goodbye to traditional sweet treats and try these savory shortbread cookies! Made with rosemary and sharp cheddar cheese, these cookies are buttery and flavorful. They make the perfect addition to your appetizer plate or side to your afternoon tea!
Every now and then it’s nice to challenge yourself to a recipe that’s a little out-of-the-box. Shortbread cookies on their own are rather simple, which makes them quite adaptable to various flavors. Add some cheese and herbs and they become the best savory cookie. If you like that combination, this parmesan herb bread is worth a try!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- One bowl recipe. It takes minutes to make the dough in just a single mixing bowl!
- Good alternative to sweet cookies. When you have the craving to bake, but don’t want something sweet, these savory cookies are just the thing!
- Versatile recipe. You can use different cheeses and herbs to suit your personal taste.
- Perfect for pairing with tea or cocktails. Serve these cookies with your afternoon tea or add them to a plate of appetizers for happy hour!
- Cheese: Use a sharp white cheddar cheese and shred it yourself. I do not recommend pre-shredded cheese because it has an anti-caking agent.
- Butter: Unsalted butter is best for baking. Different varieties of salted butter have different amounts of salt added. It’s best to control the measurement yourself.
- Rosemary: Fresh rosemary is preferred, but you can also use dried (cut the measurement in half).
- Pepper: For a little bite, use freshly cracked black pepper and adjust the amount to taste.
Refer to the recipe card for ingredient details and measurements.
Substitute the cheese. Any sharp cheese will work in this recipe. I suggest parmesan, manchego or asiago.
Try different herbs. Woody, fragrant herbs, such as thyme or sage, are wonderful substitutions!
Add some nuts. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts when adding the flour to the dough.
Choose a soft or crisp texture. If you like softer shortbread, lower the baking time to 12 minutes. For crisp cookies, increase the time to 18 minutes. I’m like Goldie Locks. I think 15 minutes is just right!
How to Make Savory Shortbread Cookies
- Make the dough. Use an electric mixer to beat shredded cheese, butter, sugar, rosemary, pepper and salt until well combined. Mix in the flour.
- Form dough into a log, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Slice log into discs about 1/4-inch thick. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet
- Bake at 350 F for 15 minutes. Cool completely.
Shred the cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheese is coated with anti-caking agents to keep it from sticking. As a result it doesn’t melt as easily in the oven. It’s best to use a box grater to shred the block of cheese.
Rotate the log of dough halfway through chilling. This will help prevent one side of the cookies from becoming flat.
Weigh your ingredients with a kitchen scale. This method is more accurate than using measuring cups. If you don’t have a scale, spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife (don’t pack it down).
Use room temperature ingredients. Not only does it make it easier to combine the ingredients, but the dough is more consistent. As a result, the cookies have a better texture!
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
Make ahead the dough and form it into a log. Wrap in plastic wrap and keep in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours. Let it sit at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes or until soft enough to slice.
Store shortbread cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Freeze baked cookies for up to 3 months. Wrap stacks of 4 or 5 cookies in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container in the freezer. Bring to room temperature before serving. You can also freeze the dough for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before slicing and baking.
Most likely the dough was too warm. Remember to chill the dough and keep it in the refrigerator if baking in batches.
Yes, but chill the dough first and be careful not to overwork when rolling into balls. Yuor body heat can warm the dough causing the cookies to spread.
They are the perfect addition to a cheese platter or charcuterie board. They also pair well with soups or dips, such as olive tapenade or paté. Of course wine is another a good choice! A Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Noir is a good complement.
Here are some more savory baking recipes to try!
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Get the Recipe: Savory Shortbread Cookies
- 1 ½ cups (about 6 oz or 170 g) good quality white cheddar cheese, from a block, not pre-shredded
- ½ cup (113 g or 1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 ½ Tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 ½ teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1-2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ¼ cup (156 g) all purpose flour
- In a bowl, add shredded cheese, butter, sugar, rosemary, pepper and salt. Beat with an electric mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add flour and mix until combined.
- Transfer to a work surface and form into an 8-inch log.
- Wrap dough log with plastic wrap and chill for 30 to 45 minutes or until firm. I suggest rotating the log halfway through so one side doesn’t become flat.
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Remove dough log from the fridge and unwrap it. Use a sharp knife to cut dough into discs, each about 1/4-inch thick. Place cookies on prepared baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
- Bake at 350℉ for 15 minutes or until golden. Let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.