Rosemary Pine Nut Shortbread

Rosemary Pine Nut Shortbread
Rate it!

rsemary pine nut shortbread
Perfect with a cup of hot tea.

We haven’t made any Bouchon Bakery Shortbread for a while, something which needed remedying. It’s the only recipe we use when making shortbread, simply because it’s the best. Now, that doesn’t mean that we aren’t above changing it — not wholesale changes — just a bit. As in today’s recipe, in which we swap out the vanilla flavoring for the flavors of rosemary and pine nuts. It’s a simple swap, so you can make these up, too. Follow along, and we’ll show you what we did.

While we do post the recipe here, we won’t show too many photos. If you need those, look at Bouchon Bakery Shortbread. The procedure is almost identical, except for the part below involving rosemary and pine nuts, of course.

Rosemary Pine Nut Shortbread

Yield: 36 shortbreads

Rosemary Pine Nut Shortbread


  • 90 g (scant 1/2 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 g (1/2 tsp) kosher salt
  • 1 three-inch sprig fresh rosemary, leaves stripped from the stem
  • 12 g (1 Tbs) granulated sugar, for topping
  • 12 g (1 Tbs) pine nuts, for topping
  • 180 g (14 1/2 Tbs) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 270 g (scant 2 cups) all-purpose flour

Abbreviated Instructions

Place the 90 grams of sugar, kosher salt, and the rosemary in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until rosemary is chopped finely and incorporated into the sugar. Transfer to a bowl while you make the pine nut topping.

Place 12 grams of sugar and pine nuts in the bowl of your food processor, and pulse until it resembles a coarse meal. Set aside until it's time to bake.

In mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth.

Add rosemary sugar, and mix on medium-low until fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Add flour in two parts, mixing on low until incorporated before adding the next, 15 to 30 seconds.

Remove from bowl, shape into a 5-inch square, wrap, and refrigerate 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Adjust oven racks to lower and upper third. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking mats.

Place dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. Roll out to a 9-inch square. If dough has become soft, refrigerate until firm.

Cut into 1 1/2-inch squares. Dust with pine nut topping. Transfer to lined baking sheets, leaving 3/4-inch space between each shortbread.

Bake 17-19 minutes, rotating sheets, top to bottom and front to back, halfway through, until shortbread is a light golden brown.

Cool on baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Ingredient discussion:

There’s nothing to hide behind here. No strong flavors to mask sub par ingredients, so choose wisely. Go with fresh rosemary, a good unsalted butter, and you’ll have a great cookie.

Procedure in detail:

As we said above, we’re going to show you a few step, mainly how to incorporate the rosemary and pine nuts.

rosemary, salt, and sugar
The food processor will chop these leaves in no time.
ground rosemary and sugar
We knew we would have bits of rosemary, but, trust us, the sugar is infused with rosemary flavor.

Process sugar, salt, and rosemary. We want to grind the rosemary into the sugar and salt so the flavor is well-distributed. While we could mince the rosemary, then stir it into the sugar along with the salt, we went with the new-fashioned way: the food processor. Place the 90 grams of sugar, the salt, and the rosemary leaves in the bowl of a food processor and pulse/ run until the rosemary is well- minced, about 15 to 25 seconds. Transfer the mixture to another bowl while you make the pine nut topping. Or, you could start making the shortbread, and, once you add the sugar mixture, move on to processing the pine nuts. Or, even wait until you’re finished; after all, you won’t need the pine nut topping until it’s time to bake.

pine nuts and sugar
Process the pine nuts the same way, just with a smaller amount of sugar.
ground pine nuts and sugar
The oils in the nuts make it all form little lumps of pine nut and sugar mixture. It’s okay.

Process pine nuts and sugar. Place the 12 g of sugar (or 1 tablespoon) and the same amount of pine nuts in the processor bowl. Process until the nuts are ground into the sugar, about 15 to 25 seconds. Set aside until baking time.

shortbread with pine nut topping
It won’t spread as evenly as plain sugar, but it does have more flavor.

Everything else is the same as in the Bouchon Bakery Shortbread recipe, except adding vanilla — don’t do that, of course — so you can just follow that recipe from here on out, using the sugar mixture in place of the plain sugar, and the pine nut topping in place of the dusting sugar.

The base recipe for these shortbread is easily the best we’ve ever tried. The shortbread turn out somewhat light, with a nice crunch and texture, and the taste is phenomenal. Really. The Rosemary Pine Nut versions are just as good, but with a slight — not too much — rosemary flavor. Enough that you know it’s there, but not so much that your taste buds are overwhelmed. The pine nuts provide an excellent contrast, while playing off the piney flavor of the rosemary. Even before we tasted these, we knew it was a five-star recipe.

Worth the trouble?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *