A board with cut squares of rosemary shortbread on top.

A food processor makes this rosemary shortbread recipe effortless. It literally takes five minutes to prepare.

But careful: these are addictive. They’ve got that sweet-salty dynamic, but also a hint of rosemary, a savory touch that might lead you to eat ten of them, as you would a cracker. Try not to do that.

If you’re like me, you won’t want to share these with anyone, but they do make a wonderful gift. According to Melissa Clark’s NY Times article in December 2005, these shortbread cookies are her all-occasion go-to gift:

“A friend’s birthday? A box of shortbread cookies wrapped in colored tissue. A colleague’s dinner party? A hostess gift of a vintage tin filled with shortbreads. The holidays? Many, many bright-hued bags filled with shortbread and tied with ribbons.”

Yesterday, feeling inspired, I fashioned a little package out of parchment paper and cooking twine. Then I tucked two squares inside, made a cute little tag, and wrapped it all up. Later that day, I opened the package and ate the treats. As I said, I didn’t want to share these with anyone.

This shortbread is perfect with a cup of tea in the afternoon, but is delightful any time of the day really. What’s more, it stay fresh for days (though it’ll likely be gone before showing any signs of age).

Holiday season is rapidly approaching — practice making this shortbread now, and you’ll be golden come December.

Overhead shot of cut rosemary shorbread.
Ingredients for rosemary shortbread on a board: butter + rosemary.

I love parchment paper. Have you ever tried to tape it, however? Nothing sticks to it. To make this package, I improvised with a hole punch and some cooking twine. Just fold up a piece of parchment paper to the size of your liking, punch holes in the sides, thread any sort of ribbon or string through the holes and make knots on one side. Ta-da! With some cute ribbon, these packages could be really darling.

A package of rosemary shortbread with a decorative gift tag.

With this recipe, you just have to be careful not to over pulse the dough. This is about what it should look like:

A food processor filled with the rosemary shortbread dough.

The dough is still very crumbly when you pat it into the pan.

A parchment-lined square baking dish filled with the rosemary shortbread dough.
A square baking dish filled with rosemary shortbread dough, pricked with a fork.
Just-baked rosemary shortbread cut into squares.
Just-baked rosemary shortbread still in pan.
Just baked rosemary shortbread, cut into squares.
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Melissa Clark's Rosemary shortbread.

Food Processor Rosemary Shortbread

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Source: Melissa Clark of the NY Times


  • 2 cups (256 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (134 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 scant tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary (see photo above)
  • 1 teaspoon plus 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 cup (227 g) unsalted cold butter, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 tsp. honey


  1. Heat oven to 325ºF. In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar, rosemary and salt. Add butter and honey, and pulse to fine crumbs. Pulse a few more times until some crumbs start to come together, but don’t overprocess. Dough should not be smooth.
  2. Press dough into an ungreased (or parchment paper-lined for easy removal) 8- or 9-inch-square baking pan. Prick dough all over with a fork. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes for 9-inch pan, 45 to 50 minutes for 8-inch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cut into squares, bars or wedges while still warm.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American