rosemary, brown butter shortbread

It seems like that time of year (all the times except summer?) when there is no down time. Yesterday after school was a whirl of walking Rilke, filling out/dropping off my ballot, making cookies, cleaning the apartment, and reading for my meeting with Rabbi C tomorrow. Oh and did I mention prepping for class today?

So I settled for something easy for my bake last night. One thing I really love about shortbread cookies is that they don’t spread — and that means I can fit a full batch on two cookie trays and I’m not up until midnight baking/cooling cookies. I’ve been very happy with Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything” shortbread, in part because it’s so forgiving of additions.

Yesterday I browned some butter and then set it to cool in the fridge while I ran (literally) my ballot to my polling place. I feel very lucky that I can get there by foot (plus, I needed some endorphins yesterday). Then, after mixing the cookies and popping them into the fridge to cool, I did a quick vacuum and put away the laundry. While they were baking, I made my slides for today and gave Rilke a belly rub (multi-multi-tasking!).

These cookies are crisp, delightful disks of buttery sweetness. They’re not overly decadent, but they are almost always what I’m craving (have you noticed that I’m obsessed with rosemary and brown butter yet?). Anyway, they’re up there with Deb Perlman’s Blondies recipe for “recipes I would someday like to frame/paint on my cabinet doors because I use them so often.”


Rosemary Brown Butter Shortbread

1 cup browned butter, cooled to solid

150 g sugar

1 egg yolk

190 g flour

60 g cornstarch

pinch salt

1.5 Tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary


Cream together butter and sugar for ~30 seconds to a minute. Mix in egg yolk and rosemary, then add flour, cornstarch and salt. Run the mixer until the dough comes together (I’ve found it to be very forgiving). Roll into two logs ~1″ in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap (or a ziploc bag) and place in the freezer for ~25-35 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325° (Bittman suggests 275° for 30 minutes, but I’m too impatient for that).

Slice the logs into ~1/4″ slices and place on a paper-lined baking tray. They won’t spread much, so you can get them quite close.

Bake for 14-16 minutes (I like to check halfway through because I worry that one tray will cook at a different rate than another and I’ll need to swap them. You know your oven). I like them to be firm and only ever-so-slightly golden around the edges when I pull them out.

Let cool on the trays for at least five minutes before transferring to a rack.

This made me about 50 cookies, so I packed up half for coworkers and threw the other half in a ziplock in the freezer. I’m sure Future Me is going to be very happy to find them!

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