Shortbread Cookies with Winter Herbs and Dried Fruit

Makes 3 dozen cookies


2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
3½ teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped fine
10 tablespoons (1¼ sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 large egg
½ cup dried cherries, chopped
Fine sanding sugar for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, salt and chopped rosemary; set aside.

Put butter and sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in olive oil. Reduce speed to low. Mix in flour mixture. Add cream; mix until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and dried cherries and mix until just combined.

Shape dough into ¾ inch balls and space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with fingers and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake cookies, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden, about 13 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on sheet or wire racks. Store in airtight container.

*Alternatively use fresh thyme, orange zest and chopped dried dates; dried cranberries, fresh thyme and 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, chopped fine, Winter Savory and 1 teaspoon lime zest, 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 1 teaspoon orange zest and 2 teaspoons orange juice.