I love shortbread. That buttery cookie with just a hint of salt that goes so well with tea is a favored cookie of mine, mainly because it doesn’t compete with my afternoon tea. It satisfies my cookie fix without being too sweet. So I thought why not try making shortbread cookies at home? This way I can flavor it with some exotic spices to make it interesting.
It just so happens I had the perfect opportunity to make shortbread cookies as my friend Devi was coming over for lunch. Devi has been telling me for years that she doesn’t have too many sweets, but what she does have every day is a cookie with her afternoon tea. Instead of making a dessert for our lunch I decided to make shortbread cookies, and flavored them with cardamom and rosemary.
I looked for shortbread recipes that were easy to make and found this very simple recipe from epicurious Shortbread Cookies on Epicurious. I then added cardamom powder and finely chopped fresh rosemary to the recipe. Now, this recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), and 1/4 cup of sugar for 8 decent sized cookies. But I needed to make a lot more cookies. So I tripled the recipe by adding 3 cups of flour, 1 cup of sugar, and this is where I changed the original recipe completely. I couldn’t bring myself to use the third stick of butter – those two sticks of butter were already looking decadent and I had to add one more stick? I couldn’t do it. But I already had the flour, butter, and sugar mixture going and it was too late to back out. I decided to give this a try – I substituted the 3rd stick of butter (1/2 cup butter) with 1/2-cup coconut oil instead. Coconut oil when cool looks like shortening. I figured it must have that same quality as shortening which is so favored by many bakers. I gave it a try and the cookies turned out great.
These cookies have a distinct rosemary, cardamom, coconut, and butter flavor. Somehow each one of these flavors comes through in these delectable shortbread cookies.
According to my Dad, “It tastes very good, great job,” and according to Rani, “Wow Momi, these are really good! How much butter did you use?” I told her very impressed with myself that I substituted 1 stick of butter with coconut oil instead. However the true test was how the cookies tasted for Devi. When I served these biscuits for lunch the next day this was Devi’s reaction, “These are amazing!”
Our friend Rose who joined us for lunch loved them as well, “I wouldn’t change a thing. When will you post the recipe?”
Here is the recipe for cardamom rosemary shortbread cookies with coconut oil.
Cardamom Rosemary Shortbread Cookies with Coconut Oil
adapted from epicurious.com with a few modifications
makes 30-36 small sized cookies
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 sticks (1 cup) cold unsalted butter cut into small cubes
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 heaping tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, salt, sugar, rosemary, and cardamom powder.
Add the butter cubes and mix-into the flour to form a crumbly flour mixture. Add the coconut oil and continue to incorporate the butter and coconut oil into the flour mixture until it forms rough dough.
Form dough into round balls. I made multiple small disks to make the cutting and rolling manageable.
Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to 1/4-inch-thick round. Generously flour the counter and the rolling pin to prevent the dough from sticking to the rolling pin and the counter. You may find the balls to be very crumbly and hard to roll. Keep rolling with the rolling pin and feel free to knead the dough with your fingers to keep the dough together.
Once the disk is flattened cut into squares or any shape you like. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
If you like you can add rosemary sprigs or dust with sugar for decoration.
Bake until shortbread is cooked through and pale golden, about 30-40 minutes.
Let cool for 30 minutes before serving.
Cook’s Notes: These make a more crunchy shortbread cookie. If you would like them on the softer side, make the cookies a little thicker. Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
Give these cardamom rosemary shortbread cookies with coconut oil a try with your next tea or coffee.