Tuesday, December 10, 2013

You don't even need the cocktail part

Shriveled up baby sausages floating in warm barbecue sauce from a jar?

But, add a jaunty frilled toothpick, and call 'em Cocktail Weenies?

Now they are adorable, slightly naughty, and imply I will soon be having a frosty martini.

That's the power of marketing**.

These delectable, sweet-savory cookies, on the other hand, did not even need to be called Cocktail Shortbread. They could have been called Shriveled Up Baby Sausages in Warm Barbecue Sauce From a Jar with A Side of Tepid Tap Water and the stack would still have flown off the tray.  They are that delicious.

The implied frosty martini is just a lovely bonus.

Rosemary Raisin Shortbread - Close Up

Rosemary Raisin Cocktail Shortbread

by Sharon Graves
Prep Time: 20 minutes, plus chilling time
Cook Time: 15 minutes
I'd been smitten with Rosemary Raisin Raincoast Crisps and then addicted to their more accessibly priced cousins from Trader Joe's.  Herbs and dried fruit and crunch to pair with my cheese.  What don't I like about that?  So I jumped at the chance to test this recipe on Food52, in turn based on one by Dorie Greenspan.  They are not the same as my beloved crisp crackers, but more of a buttery, tender cookie with those same flavors, verging right toward the edge of savory.  They're up there with the Parmesan Fennel Shortbread as homemade companion for cheese, or just by themselves.  And, did I mention there could be cocktails soon? 

  • 1/2 c. golden raisins, apricots, or other dried fruit
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/2 cup Turbinado sugar (aka "Sugar in the Raw")
  • 1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • Coarsely flaked sea salt, optional, for sprinkling
Place the raisins in a bowl and cover with warm water. Let stand for 15-20 minutes, until they are plump. Drain, and then pat dry with paper towel. Chop the raisins into smaller pieces, then set aside.

In a larger mixing bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, rub the rosemary leaves into the sugar with your fingers. Add the the butter and beat until creamy. Beat in the egg yolk. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil and beat until smooth.

Add the salt and flour and beat until the dough is just beginning to form, but there are still flour-y parts left. Add the raisins, then use a large spatula to fold them into the dough until all parts of the dough are moist.

Turn onto a lightly floured work surface, and gently knead a bit more. Press the dough into two flat disks, then place the each disk between two sheets of wax paper. Working in turns, and roll each disc out to about about 1/4 inch in thickness. Refrigerate or freeze the rolled out dough for an hour or two, until quite firm.

Preheat the oven to 350°, and line a baking pan with parchment paper or a Silpat. Remove the top sheet of wax paper. From here, you can either use a small round cookie cutter, or cut into squares with a sharp knife or pizza cutter. Re-roll the scraps and continue cutting cookies as you go. Place the cookies a bit apart from each other on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with a few flakes of sea salt, if using***.  

Bake the cookies for about 12-15 minutes, until they are lightly golden brown on the edges. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

These keep very well, and taste even better if given a day to age before using.

Rosemary Raisin Cocktail Shortbread

* Not really. But I'd at least consider eating one after a few drinks.
** Know who else doesn't need marketing?  Santa.  But this brand book for him is one of the funniest things I've read in a long time.

"Did you know that Santa is the Industry Standard for child-centric gift delivery?"

***This will put them cleanly over to the savory side of things.  I loved them with the salt.


  1. I love the the Raisin Crackers from Trader Joes, but your recipe is SO much better. I am going to make these with apricot. These lovely crackers pair so well with cheese. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

    1. I bet they'd be amazing with apricot! I'm going to try that myself!

  2. These were soooo yummy! And especially with cheese. Can't wait to make them for our holiday party... or any party for that matter.

    1. You can me both, Jennifer. I'm making a bunch for an event next week, too!

  3. You're right that they could have been called Shriveled Up Baby Sausages and they would've still flown off the table. And thanks for posting Santa's brand book. I am very familiar with those branding briefs and it's good to know there's a buttoned-up Santa strategy.

    1. The Man in Red is completely covered. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Thank you, Nancy. I loved your spumoni shortbread, too!