This Brown Butter Rosemary Shortbread Cookies Recipe is a new addition to my standard Christmas Cookies lineup. The Rosemary provides a lovely, piney fragrance to brown butter shortbread, resulting in a delicious cookie. There truly is something wonderful about brown butter shortbread, but the addition of the Rosemary in this recipe simply takes it over the top.
Kate and I will start baking our Christmas cookies this week when she’s home for Thanksgiving. Actually, we’ll be doing this baking on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Then we will be putting up our tree and decorating the rest of the house on the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving.
I’d imagine the traditions and expectations around our Christmas Decorating are similar to those in your family. Our favorite Christmas music will pipe through the house and a plate of Christmas cookies will keep us fortified during the frenzied fun. We will also have a charcuterie spread and other noshes as Friday’s meals will be of the ‘grazing’ variety; I will be way too busy to cook.
We easily make 8-10 different cookie recipes each holiday season. This assures that each member of the family has several favorites to choose from. It’s fun to look back and see how each cookie came to be on our Christmas cookie recipe list. Just as we bring furniture and pictures to a marriage, favorite family cookie recipes come too. Terry grew up with the Peanut Butter Blossom, which were new to me. My Grandma made the double chocolate cookies and the pizzelle maker I use is the one she used 40+ years ago. These Brown Butter Rosemary Shortbread cookies very quickly found their way into our hearts….or, better yet, tummies! I’ll be curious to see what cookie recipes my kids take with them when they set up a home of their own.
Some of our Favorite Christmas Cookies
These Spiced Molasses Cookies are a staple in our Christmas cookie baking. They are perfectly crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside. If you like a more gingery, lighter, and crisper molasses cookie, then check out these Crisp Ginger Molasses Cookies. My Grandma’s Pennsylvania Dutch Chocolate Cookies have been baked each Christmas for probably 75 years! If that’s not a tradition, I don’t know what is!
A recent addition to the line-up has been a Rosemary Shortbread cookie that was offered at a Cookie Swap I attended several years back. While I loved this recipe, I was anxious to take it up a notch by using browned butter. Browning butter takes an already yummy kitchen staples to serious new heights. Its nutty, caramel flavor is perfection in shortbread cookies and over pasta where it doesn’t have to compete for attention on your palate. I used Irish butter because its higher fat content makes it just that much more flavorful. And while shortbread cookies are outstanding on their own, adding some brown butter and rosemary to this cookie recipe makes you question the adage ‘you can’t improve perfection.’ Thus was born Brown Butter Rosemary Shortbread Cookies.
Rosemary in a shortbread cookie? Really??? Don’t knock it until you try it! In this recipe, the sweetness from the sugar is complemented by the caramel of the browned butter. Salt and a hint of pine from the rosemary adds just enough pleasant surprise to your taste buds to make these very distinctive Brown Butter Rosemary Cookies work into your cookie repertoire. If you were looking for another addition to your Christmas Cookie recipe list, this is worthy of consideration.
Just a note, you can’t just brown the butter called for in a recipe that didn’t specifically call for browned butter (yeah…I found that out the hard way…twice!) Browning the butter causes some evaporation (like 20%), so you need to accommodate by adding more butter. There’s your fun fact for the day.
- 8 ounces unsalted butter, I used Kerrygold Irish butter
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Coarse sanding sugar
- In a pan with a light-colored bottom (so that you can see the color of the butter) brown butter over medium heat. As the butter starts to melt it will begin to foam. Swirl the pot frequently... The process will progress rather quickly, so stay by the stove. Burnt Butter = BAD
- Once it's brown and you can smell the nutty aroma, transfer to a heatproof bowl or your mixing bowl to cool
- Once cool, beat in your large mixing bowl until creamy/frothy.
- Add sugar, milk, and vanilla and mix to combine
- Combine flour, salt, baking powder and rosemary in a separate bowl and mix well
- Add flour mixture and nuts to butter mixture and blend to combine. the will be crumbly but will hold together when pinched.
- Dump your dough onto a clean working surface and, with your hands, form into 2 1" diameter logs.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour
- When ready to bake your cookies, preheat oven to 350'
- Slice cookies into 1/4" rounds and place 2 inches apart on a parchment/Silpat lined cookie sheet
- Sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake for 15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through to ensure even cooking.
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So, Let The Cookie Games Begin!!!! This is the time of the year when I’m prepared to not eat lunch so that I can eat more cookies and treats and when, despite my efforts, I know I’ll add a few pounds…and I’m really okay with it. Here’s my seasonal spin on a quote I’ve seen bouncing around Pinterest. I don’t know who first coined it, but it makes perfect sense to me:
Some days I eat salads and go to the gym. Some days I eat too many Christmas cookies and refuse to put my pants on. It’s called ‘balance’.
Bookmark this page or pin this image to refer back to this Brown Butter Rosemary Shortbread Cookies recipe in the future.
Thanks again for spending a few minutes of your busy day with me today.
I love shortbread so much. If you are like me and would like another variation of a shortbread-type cookie, check out my pecan sandies. I hope that they, along with these brown butter rosemary shortbread cookies, can satisfy your shortbread craving.
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