Caramelized Onion & Rosemary Shortbread Squares

1 Jan

caramelized onion rosemary shortbread done

Happy New Year!

I was lucky enough to have today off and I tried to spend it productively at home. I am excited for the year ahead and everything it brings with it.

I had plans to make a savory bread pudding with some stale cornbread I had hanging around…sadly, the cornbread went moldy on me. After cleaning out the fridge and taking inventory of what I had on hand, I decided to try out a savory shortbread cookie. I am so sick of sugary sweets after eating them nonstop the past few weeks! I needed something a little less cookie-ish and a little more biscuit-y.

This is what I came up with. I am really pleased with them…although I’m not sure what category they fall into. They are fairly sweet, with a little bit of zip from the rosemary and lemon, and a savory earthiness from the onions. They are a little like crackers…but they are  not crackers.  Sorta like a flatbread? The jury is still out. I’m going to make as many friends try them as possible to get some feedback.

caramelized onion rosemary shortbread prep

In the recipe below I used some rosemary simple syrup because I had quite a bit left after our holiday party when we made Rosemary Gin Fizzes. My fridge is a graveyard for strange flavor experiments…many of which I had forgotten about until cleaning it out today. There was a mushroom based ketchup made by my boyfriend, a strawberry-chipotle aioli also made by him, and several jars of a more recent experimental wine jelly which I am still too afraid to try.  Plus the rosemary syrup, the apple butter…the list goes on.

**I would recommend adding an additional 1/2 tbsp of chopped rosemary and another quarter cup of sugar if you aren’t using syrup. Most shortbread recipes I’ve seen or had success with have about 3/4 cup of sugar. You could also  try another quarter cup of Parmesan cheese in lieu of the additional sugar  if you want to go a more savory route. Play around with it!

caramelized onion rosemary shortbread prep 2

Caramelized Onion & Rosemary Shortbread Squares


  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup rosemary simple syrup (if not using this, try adding up to another 1/4 cup sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary (or 1 1/2 tablespoons if eliminating the rosemary simple syrup above)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 small red onion

Preheat oven to 375° F.

1. Dice your onion and cook in a small amount of butter over medium-low heat for a long time. It takes a while for the onion to soften and get all deliciously golden-brown. Stir every so often. Once softened and golden brown, remove from heat and let cool.

2. Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl or mixer. Add syrup at this point as well if using. Add egg. Keep mixing until well combined.

3. Slowly add the flour. Add in the salt, lemon zest, rosemary, and keep mixing another 2-3 minutes until everything is combined.

4. Add in the onions and the Parmesan cheese. Mix until the onions are well incorporated.

5. Place your dough on a large piece of plastic wrap or in a plastic container and cover with plastic wrap. Chill in fridge for at least a half hour.

6. Once chilled, place dough on a floured surface and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into squares or any shape you desire. You could use cookie cutters if you are feeling really fancy. Place on a greased/floured cookie sheet and bake at 375° for 10-12 minutes until the edges begin to brown. If you take one out to check them, the bottoms should be brown but the tops will remain pretty pale.

I hope you all have courage to try something new in 2013. Things don’t always work out but you might be pleasantly surprised!

Happy cooking-


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2 Responses to “Caramelized Onion & Rosemary Shortbread Squares”

  1. soundthroughtime January 1, 2013 at 1:51 am #

    boyfriend here
    these are incredible
    also the wine jelly is great you should actually try it


  1. Crustless Quiche with Garlicky Kale and Potatoes | dunnright - March 24, 2013

    [...] My bottom line: If it tastes good then I want to share it with people.  A while back I made these savory shortbread squares and I had no idea what would be the best term for them, but I still considered them a success [...]

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