This unbelievably easy, crisp-tender, buttery, absolutely irresistible shortbread is one of those recipes you’ll find yourself making again and again.
Every now and then you come across one of those recipes you know you’ll be making forever. And ever…
This Rosemary Shortbread was published a while back in the food section of the New York Times. The minute I read about it, I knew I’d have to try it. It seemed like an unusual combination, but I was intrigued, as I’m a huge shortbread sucker and love the fusion of sweet and savory flavors.
The other thing I was taken in by was how super easy it was to throw this shortbread recipe together. I mean really. Just combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times? Too good to be true, right?
But I trust Melissa Clark when it comes to food. Totally.
If you’re not familiar with Melissa, and you enjoy spending time in the kitchen, you’ve been missing out on some great recipes. Melissa’s been a food columnist for The New York Times for about as long as I can remember. Well, not actually that long (I looked it up), but she has been writing for the Big Apple newspaper since 2007. Melissa shares delicious, unique recipes as well as beautiful, informative videos.
Back to the shortbread: Melissa describes it as “tender, rich, crumbly and irresistible”. Me? I’ll just call it crazy delicious. The first time I made made it, our son Nick and his wife, Lindsay happened to arrive just as I pulled the pan of golden, sugar-kissed shortbread out of the oven. They were dropping off the kids to spend the night with us and were headed out on a dinner date. Not wanting to spoil their appetites, I offered them a tiny sliver… “Oh my gosh!”, “Wow!” “This is unbelievable!” They both requested a second helping (“and not so small, please!”), despite the dinner date. Ever since then, they just roll their eyes when “Rosemary Shortbread” is even mentioned!
And it’s true; that it’s super easy to put together. As in 5-minute easy: combine flour, sugar, rosemary and salt in the bowl of a food processor and give it a little spin.
Add cold butter, a drizzle of honey and pulse till it comes together in big clumps. Dump the whole works in a pan and press the buttery crumbs into place. I like to add a generous sprinkle of sanding sugar, raw (Demera) sugar or just regular granulated sugar over the top. Pop it in the oven and try to be patient (probably the hardest part) for 30-40 minutes. That’s it! Well, you will have to listen to the rave reviews. But that’s the fun part!
Yes, indeed – every now and then you come across one of those recipes you know you’ll be making forever. And ever… Amen!
P.S. This recipe has been great for getting me out of a pinch, as it makes a delicious dessert in a hurry. Just pick up some good vanilla ice cream (or custard!), take the 5 minutes to whip together a batch of this shortbread and you’ve got a fabulous dessert with minimal effort. If you want to take it totally over the top, add a drizzle of this super easy (actually ridiculously easy) Ridiculously Easy Caramel Sauce. Oh my!
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup 2 sticks butter, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1-2 tablespoons sanding sugar Demera or regular granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease (I use baking spray) and then line an 8 or 9-inch cake pan (round or square) or a 11-inch tart pan* with a removable bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, rosemary and salt until combined.
- Add butter and honey and pulse in 5-10 second intervals. After about a minute, mixture will have the appearance of white sand. Continue to pulse until large crumbs form. Don't over process the dough, but do stop once or twice during processing to loosen flour that will tend to clump to the lower edges of the food processor bowl. (I use a spatula or a blunt ended table knife for this.)
- Once large crumbs form (dough will not be smooth) and there is no flour at the bottom of the bowl, dump mixture into prepared pan. Press the dough into the pan fairly firmly to create an even surface. Be sure there are no loose crumbs around the edges of the pan. Sprinkle with sanding, Demera or regular sugar.
- Bake for 35-45 minutes then remove from oven. (The smaller your pan is, the thicker your shortbread will be and the longer it will take to bake. Check frequently towards end of baking time. You want it to be a pretty, deep golden brown.)
- Invert shortbread onto a flat plate. Place another plate on top and invert again. Slide onto a work surface and sprinkle with a bit more sugar, if desired. Cut shortbread into wedges, rectangles or squares. Transfer pieces to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.
Adapted from The New York Times
Serves 10-12, depending on the size of pieces.
* The smaller the pan, the thicker the shortbread will be. Thicker shortbread will take a little longer to bake. We love it both ways. If I want it thin and crisp, I use my tart pan which is 11 inches in diameter. If I want a thick, more traditional shortbread, I use an 8-inch cake pan. Round or square cake pans will both work.