The rosemary in my garden is incredibly lush and fragrant this time of year. It makes me daydream of Mediterranean flavors. I wondered, “How can I put that dreamy seaside feeling in a baked treat?” While perusing shortbread cookie recipes I realized they are fairly versatile and can stand up to a strong herbaceous taste. With a little lemon zest for summery nuance, I knew I could create something delicious.
The recipes I found needed a simple vegan adjustment — using vegan butter in place of regular butter. No high altitude changes were required, which just left my taste preferences. Using less sugar brought out the scent of the rosemary I added, and lemon zest rounded out the flavor profile. These are slightly savory but still a cookie. They go as well with a bracing cup of coffee as they do alongside strawberry ice cream.
Rosemary Lemon Shortbread adapted from King Arthur Baking’s Shortbread recipe
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup unsalted vegan butter, cold out of the fridge
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup + 1 tablespoon powdered sugar
up to 1.5 teaspoon water, if needed
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line the bottom of an 8″ round cake pan with parchment paper, then grease the parchment paper. Set aside.
Run the rosemary leaves through a coffee grinder until you have coarse bits. Put the ground rosemary in a medium bowl along with the flour, salt, and lemon zest. Whisk until combined.
Add the vegan butter and both sugars to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream them until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until it comes together. If the mixture is too dry, then dribble in the water a little at a time. The dough should be a bit stiff.
Press the dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with your fingers or the bottom of a measuring cup. Use a fork to prick the dough all over to allow the steam to escape. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the shortbread is a light golden brown across the top and the sides have pulled away from the pan.
Remove the pan from the oven and immediately flip the shortbread onto a clean cutting board. Using a pizza wheel or sharp knife, cut the shortbread into wedges. You want to do this while the shortbread is still warm and can be easily cut. Transfer the wedges to a rack to cool completely.
Until next time, happy baking!