Tuscan Pine Nut Cookies with Rosemary (Savory Shortbread)

by Cate on March 24, 2009

Savory Shortbread

Can you believe it has been four years since I started Sweetnicks?  It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long already … that I started this site when Nick was only two-years-old.  I can barely remember back that far.    When I started this site, I felt like I knew most of the regular food bloggers out there … we all congregated on a few online watering holes and visited each other’s sites regularly and were a small, few hundred strong group.  Flash forward four years and the amount of food bloggers has grown exponentially … I still check in and visit my favorites from the beginning, and have added a few new ones to the mix, but now it’s hard to keep up with everyone … there’s so many!

Recently though, I happened upon Stacey’s Snacks, another New Jersey-based food blogger, and took a spin through some of her recent posts.  Once I spied the recipe for the savory shortbread, I knew I was in trouble.  Both my mom and I are big fans of shortbread, and with its buttery, crumbly, soft and decadently rich taste, how can you go wrong?  And truth be told, it literally takes just minutes to assemble a shortbread recipe and get it into the oven.  It’s crazysimple to make, and Stacey’s recipe for a savory version is no exception.

Although pine nuts (pignoli nuts) tend to be a little pricey, I had some leftover from the Pea Pesto Salad that I made for Madeline’s birthday party last month.  If you don’t happen to have any on hand, or want to make it a little more budget-friendly, I bet pecans or even chopped walnuts would taste just as good.  I did pause a little when I saw the addition of confectioner’s sugar into a savory shortbread, but I promise it all works out in the end.

This shortbread is a bit crumblier than other versions I’ve made (Brown Sugar Walnut Shortbread, Coconut Almond Cookie Brittle, Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle), but whether you’re eating little bits or a nice thin slice, it will be worth it.  Smooth, rich, and oh so good.  This is one to make.

Tuscan Pine Nut Cookies w/ Rosemary
Recipe courtesy of Stacey’s Snacks

1/4 cup pine nuts (pignoli nuts), lightly toasted (watch the toasting, they burn quickly!)
1/2 cup powdered confectioners sugar
1 cup flour
1 stick of butter
1 tbsp of chopped fresh rosemary (I used about 2-3 T)

Have all of your ingredients ready to go.  Preheat oven at 350.   In a heavy saucepan, on medium heat, heat your butter stick until melted.  Now add your powdered sugar, toasted pine nuts and chopped rosemary.  Mix well.  Now add your flour last and stir to make a ball of dough.  Spread your dough in a small baking dish or pan and spread out as evenly as possible (no greasing necessary, this is a buttery dough).

Bake for about 20 minutes until edges are firm and starting to brown.  Let cool in pan about 3 minutes before carefully slicing into wedges.  After 15 minutes, lift cookies out of pan with a small spatula and cool completely on racks. This is important. The dough needs enough time to cool down and harden, otherwise when you slice them, they will fall apart.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

kellypea March 24, 2009 at 10:34 pm

I’ve learned time flies at the speed of sound. Scary sometimes, isn’t it? Lovely combo of flavors in this. I’ve experimented with them in muffins and they’re heavenly. I’ll have to sample them in cookies now. No sharing, of course.

kellypeas last blog post..Pistachio Cranberry Coconut Muffins


Claire March 24, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Four years….wow! I”m coming up on three! Shortbreads are so satisfying…sweet but not too much.

Claires last blog post..A Perfect Match!


Claire March 24, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Wow…except that I missed this one is savory. :-)

Claires last blog post..A Perfect Match!


lisa (dandysugar) March 24, 2009 at 11:41 pm

I love this unique savory flavor combination. The shortbread looks perfectly lovely in the glass baking dish too.!


Elyse March 25, 2009 at 12:55 am

OH MY GAH! These look so delicious. So, so delicious. I adore the rosemary flavor. I can’t wait to try these.

Elyses last blog post..Ninja cookies…


RecipeGirl March 25, 2009 at 1:05 am

Wow, FOUR years??? That’s so crazy. You’ve really been hard at work on this food blog stuff for quite a long time, haven’t you? You’re amazing.

I love the idea of this shortbread recipe. Rosemary and Pine Nuts are fun to work with in baking.


katrina March 25, 2009 at 8:05 am

Oh, what a lovely combination of all my favorite flavors!

katrinas last blog post..french potato salad


Donna March 25, 2009 at 9:39 am

These look fantastic and the flavor combination sounds delightful.., a savory shortbread, MMM. Must taste so amazing.

Donnas last blog post..Pear Coffee Cake With Ginger Pecan Crunch Topping and an Evil Email


ttfn300 March 25, 2009 at 10:20 am

love the idea of a savory shortbread!!

marx foods does things in bulk… which may be ok for whole spices, i’d also check out penzeys spices :)

ttfn300s last blog post..Not so much fresh


Sarah March 25, 2009 at 10:23 am

Ooooooh. Those look amazing. I was just explaining to DH the difference between sweet and savory … I should show him this! Or maybe just make these. Mmm.

Sarahs last blog post..Easy Broccoli Quiche


Stacey Snacks March 25, 2009 at 11:19 am

This is my go to recipe, when I don’t feel like baking!
It’s so easy and the cookies get better after a day or two, (if there are any left!)

Congrats on 4 years, and I am so happy that you liked the Tuscan Pine Nut Bars!



Sophia March 25, 2009 at 12:10 pm

I’ve tried baking savory shortbreads too! mine was parmesan and rosemary. yours look so good!

Sophias last blog post..The Best of Both Worlds


Natasha - 5 Star Foodie March 25, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Wow, four years – that’s wonderful! The Pine nut cookies look really good with rosemary!

Natasha – 5 Star Foodies last blog post..Poblano and Cheddar Cheese Soufflé


Tabitha (From Single to Married) March 25, 2009 at 2:11 pm

What a great site! I wanted to pop over and say hello after seeing your comment today and I love the look of your site. And I love food, so it’s a great combination!

Tabitha (From Single to Married)s last blog post..A Little Household Dreaming


Anita March 25, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Congrats on 4 years! It’s great to have gotten a recipe from another blogger and it looks like a great recipe.


Julia October 25, 2009 at 6:44 am


love the recipe for the shortbread. I am going to bake them and take them into the place where I volunteer. I’m sure everyone will love them too.

A couple of questions though, for us Europeans (I am writing from London, England); how much is a stick of butter? Also, is powdered confectioners sugar the same thing used to make icing, for us just “icing sugar”. Sorry for pesky questions!

Many thanks,



Cate October 25, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Julia – yes, powdered sugar is the same as your icing sugar. There are 8 tablespoons in a stick of butter. Hope that helps!


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