• Hannah Estabrook

Reality Bites: Rosemary Walnut Shortbread Cookies

I am very smitten with these cookies. Even better than their perfectly balanced, simply sweet and earthy flavor is the fact that I created this recipe independently, from nothing more than a compelling idea, and some persistent experimentation.

That's right, these innocent cookies mark a pivotal milestone in my plant-based cooking career. They represent the moment when I (successfully!) stepped outside of the comfort zone offered by a recipe, even one that's not being directly followed, and whipped up a delicious batch of cookies that had previously been nothing more than a figment of my imagination. And hey, I guess it turns out that I have some pretty darn delicious ideas swirling around up there! I'll have to make a point of materializing them more often.

Personal cheerleading aside, I'm not joking when I say that these cookies are actually really great. Like really, really great. They're the epitome of wholesome baked goods, the ideal

harmony of flavor and texture, and the ultimate manifestation of my refusal to embrace the socially accepted concept of "cookie" (i.e. butter, sugar, flour). They're everything that a cookie should be, while containing none of the ingredients that cookies normally do. Now that's progress.

This recipe requires only a handful of basic ingredients, and comes together in a matter of minutes. In a pinch, you could even swap out the rosemary for another flavorful substitute like citrus zest, lavender buds, or fresh thyme, but I wouldn't recommend it- they're delightful just the way they are.

Sophisticated enough for an afternoon tea party, easy enough for a weeknight treat, and healthy enough to eat for breakfast, I guarantee that these lovable cookies will find their place in your life. Trust me, we all have a void just waiting to be stuffed full of warm Rosemary Walnut Shortbread Cookies fresh out of the oven. So go ahead, complete yourself.


  • 1 cup raw walnuts

  • 1 cup whole grain spelt flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. In a food processor, combine the walnuts, spelt flour, rosemary and salt until it forms a coarse, but consistent mixture with no large pieces remaining.

  2. Gradually pulse in the melted coconut oil, followed by the maple syrup and then the vanilla extract. At this point, it should resemble a thick and moist dough.

  3. Lay out a piece of plastic wrap, and carefully scoop your dough out on to it, shaping it into an 8-inch long log with a diameter the size of your desired cookies then wrap the dough up tightly.

  4. Place this log of dough in a freezer-safe container so that it is lying flat, and chill it in your freezer for at least one hour, but up to one day. When you remove the dough from your freezer, it should be firm enough to slice with a knife and still hold its shape.

  5. When you are ready to bake your cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and retrieve a good, non-stick cookie sheet. (If you are worried that your cookies may stick, line the sheet with parchment paper just to be safe!)

  6. Unwrap your log of dough and slice it into about 16 even cookies. Arrange these cookies on the cookie sheet so that they aren't touching, however they will not expand so it it alright if they are relatively close together.

  7. Bake your cookies in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until they are just beginning to turn golden on top.

  8. Remove your cookies from the oven and allow them to cool slightly, but they are best served warm! Any leftovers will still be great the next day, just not quite as flaky and crumbly. Enjoy!