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Nicole's Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Nicole is a regular at Chef Ari Rosen’s restaurant Scopa, in Healdsburg, in the California wine country. She once brought the cookies to Ari, who now has her come into the restaurant once a week to bake them for the restaurant. For the perfect ending to a meal on a hot evening, serve these with Zinfandel-Marinated Peaches (see related recipe at left).

Ingredients:

  • 16 Tbs. (2 sticks) (8 oz./250 g) unsalted butter, at room
      temperature
  • 1 cup (4 oz./125 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp. finely minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (9 oz./280 g) all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on low speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the sugar, rosemary and salt and mix until well combined, another 1 to 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of bowl. Increase the speed to medium and continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and lighter in color, about 5 minutes.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl again and add the flour. Mix on low speed just until the dough starts to come together. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again. Reduce the speed to low and mix for 1 minute more.

Gather the dough into a ball and place on a large piece of plastic wrap.  Cover with a second piece of plastic wrap and, using a rolling pin, roll into a 7-by-10-inch (18-by-25-cm) rectangle about 1/2 inch (12 mm) thick. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, place on a baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, at least 3 hours and up to 5 days.

Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).

Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 1-inch  (2.5 cm) squares and arrange on a baking sheet about 1 inch (2.5 cm) apart. Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges, about 15 minutes, rotating the pan midway through the baking time.

As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, generously brush the tops and sides of the cookies with the olive oil. Let them cool on the baking sheet for at least 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving. Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Makes about 45 cookies.

Ari Rosen, Co-Owner and Chef, Scopa, Healdsburg, CA.