This Simple Shortbread Recipe Is the Sweet (or Savory!) Treat You Need

Cheese and herb shortbread
Sweet & savory

We like to think of shortbread as a day-to-evening cookie. The buttery, crisp base transitions smoothly from sweet to savory, and has the ability to fit perfectly on a cheese plate or a cookie plate. It’s the butter and flour equivalent of a little black dress. 

Best of all? This shortbread recipe is simple. The base of the dough is only 4 ingredients. Our version includes cheese and herbs for a sweet and savory cookie that pairs perfectly with cocktail hour. If you’re more of a true dessert person, you can take a little creative license here: swap the herbs and cheese for vanilla and lavender, orange zest and poppy seeds, or any of your favorite baking spices. 

Herb & Cheese Shortbreads

Recipe by Chef Alex Saggiomo 

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tsp finely chopped herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme, marjoram)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated cheese (Gruyere, Parmesan, Aged Cheddar, Manchego)
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

Place the flour, sugar, herbs, salt, and cheese into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until combined. Add the butter and pulse just until a soft dough forms; the dough should hold together when squeezed with your hands; if not, add a tablespoon of water and pulse until combined.

Place a large sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface and transfer the dough onto it. Form the dough into a loose log along 1 edge of the long side of the sheet. Roll the dough log, twisting the plastic gathered at the ends in opposite directions until the log is tight and compact, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Chill in the refrigerator until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the dough log into 1/3-inch thick slices and arrange on the lined sheets, about 1-inch apart. Bake until the edges are just beginning to brown, 11 to 13 minutes.

Cool the shortbread on the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. Store the shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to serve. Yields 24 cookies.

Want even more simple dessert recipes? Try these 5 ingredient brownies.

Simple shortbread recipe
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