Rosemary Lemon Shortbread

Rosemary Lemon Shortbread

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Brian Levy's shortbread is the last shortbread recipe you'll ever need. It's delicate, buttery, and savory in all the right ways. It's heaven in its simplicity yet complex enough that a secret ingredient mystifies even the most sensitive palettes. It can store for up to two weeks and can be made vegan and gluten-free, as well. You can score a copy of his new fruit-sweetened cookbook, Good & Sweet, in our Good & Sweet Gift Set. 

Here's what Brian has to say about this recipe. "Rosemary shortbreads—savory-sweet, enchantingly fragrant—have been in my repertoire for years, ever since I brought them to my friend Cristina’s cookie party where they were a hit. I can’t imagine a better use for freeze-dried sweet corn than in these cookies, where it melds with the rosemary and butter in a magical way.

What makes it sweet? Sweet corn (freeze-dried) and date sugar."

Makes sixteen 3-inch wedges or 2-inch squares


Butter for the pan(s)

13 ½ Tbsp Unsalted butter (see Notes), at room temperature

1 Tbsp Fresh rosemary, chopped 

Grated lemon zest from ½ lemon

1 1/3 cups All-purpose flour (see Notes)  

7 Tbsp Cornstarch 

1¾ cups, lightly packed Freeze-dried sweet corn (see Notes) 

½ cup Just Date Sugar

¼ tsp Salt 

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F. Lightly grease two 6-inch round metal pans or one 8-inch square metal pan and line the pan(s) with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer (or in a bowl with a hand mixer), beat the softened butter with the rosemary and lemon zest on medium-high speed until it’s creamy. (Sidebar: You beat the butter with the rosemary and lemon zest because fat carries flavors well, and you want the flavor of rosemary and lemon to deeply perfume these cookies.) 

In a food processor, combine the flour, cornstarch, freeze-dried corn, date sugar, and salt. Pulse a few times to break up the corn, then continue to process for about 1 minute to pulverize everything to a fine powder. 

Scoop half the dry ingredients into the butter and mix just until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Add the remaining dry ingredients, and pulse just until it forms an even, loose, sandy texture.

Empty the dough onto your parchment-lined pan(s) and press it very hard (use your body weight) with your fingers and the heel of your hand to form a level surface. Use a fork to gently score cut lines that divide the dough into 16 cookies (8 wedges each if you are using round pans; 16 squares if you are using a square pan). 

Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Just after taking the shortbread out of the oven, with the shortbread still in the pan(s), use a sharp knife to slice along the scored lines. Let cool completely before serving (they are even better after a couple of hours) and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.


To make this recipe vegan and dairy-free, use unsalted vegan butter (such as Miyoko’s) in place of the dairy butter.


To make this recipe gluten-free, use 1-for-1 all-purpose gluten-free flour (such as King Arthur) in place of the all-purpose wheat flour. 


As a substitute for the 70 grams of freeze-dried sweet corn, you can use 6 Tbsp (52 g) corn flour + 2 Tbsp (18 g) date sugar

By Brian Levy, from his fruit sweetened cookbook, Good & Sweet