Bean A Foodie Bakes!

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I love to cook.  It’s a huge part of being a foodie!  Cooking however, does not include baking.  That my friends…is a whole different animal.  And I am most definitely NOT a baker.  No sir.  I’ve made multiple brick-like loaves of bread and cookies that taste worse than the hockey pucks they so closely resemble.  For whatever reason, I just don’t have the skills (or patience really) of a baker.

So when my fellow dietetic interns got the idea of a Christmas cookie swap, inside I cringed.  Cookies?   Really guys?  How ’bout something that doesn’t require precise measuring and cooking times?  But I played along anyways and found a yummy sounding recipe for rosemary and thyme shortbread cookies. But that recipe required 2 entire sticks of butter.  So I did a little tinkering, which in general is not a good idea for me and baked goods.  But I ended up with a savory shortbread cookie that was absolutely delicious, buttery and flaky.

The tinkering began with the flavor.  Rosemary and thyme are great.  But rosemary and parmesan cheese on the other hand, are awesome.  The next change came in the type of flour used.  The original recipe called for 2 cups of white flour.  I subbed one cup for whole wheat pastry flour.  This can be a very dangerous change to make in baked goods.  Whole wheat flour can be heavier with “sharper” grains that have the potential to make baked goods dense and chewy.  But the whole wheat pastry flour is light and soft which allows these cookies to stay nice and tender.

The last change was the butter.  Obviously shortbread cookies are basically all butter.  I knew I couldn’t cut out as much as I’d like without sacrificing flavor and texture.  I didn’t find any good substitutions and my time allotted for butter substitution research was quickly coming to an end.  The goal for the butter in shortbread dough is just to help the dough come together nicely.  So I added liquid – ice water – to add the tiny bit of extra moisture that the dough needed to stay together.  Simple switch AND it worked!
shortbreadcookies This recipe is delicious!  I could hardly wait to try the cookies as they came out of the oven.  Yes….I burnt my mouth.  But it was totally worth it!  These cookies are so buttery and flaky, they melt in your mouth.  I love the salty nutty flavor from the parmesan cheese and the hint of rosemary in the background.  I think these cookies would be great with a cheese tray or alongside a nice fruit tray.  I highly, highly recommend these cookies.  The dough literally takes like 10 minutes to make.  You can’t ask for an easier recipe.  I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

Rosemary and Parmesan Shortbread Cookies:


  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup powder sugar
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 sticks salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp ice water (ice removed), added one tbsp at a time


  1. In a food processor, add the flour, sugar, rosemary and parmesan cheese.  Pulse a few times until blended.
  2. Add in the butter and pulse a few more times until the dough starts to come together.  Add in 1 tbsp of the ice water at a time.  You may not need both.  Pulse a few times until dough starts to form a ball in the processor bowl.
  3. On a sheet of plastic wrap, dump out the dough and form into a ball with cold hands.  Roll dough ball into a square-shaped log thats about 1.5″ by 2″.  Roll plastic wrap tightly around log.
  4. Refrigerate dough for 1 -2 hrs to allow butter to re-harden.
  5. Preheat oven to 350F.
  6. Slice dough log into 1/2″ pieces.  Lay slices on cookie tray lined with parchment paper or silpat about 1″ apart.
  7. Bake cookies for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden on the edges.
  8. Sprinkle with flaked sea salt for extra flavor.  Cookies for keep for about a week in an air tight container.


  1. Barbara Winebrenner

    December 17, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Do you sprinkle the sea salt before you bake them? If not and it’s after they come out of the oven, will the salt stick?

    • mewinebrenner

      December 17, 2012 at 11:40 pm

      I usually add it about half way through the cooking time.

  2. Melissa @ Eat on the Run

    December 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    These were so yummy! Thanks for sharing!

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