Salted Rosemary Citrus Shortbread

I usually make this recipe at Christmas time. Something about shortbread, rosemary and the lovely citrus fruits that are in season this time of year call to mind the holidays. Changing the citrus used actually can make this more seasonal. I typically use grapefruit during the holiday; something about it really goes with the salt, rosemary and buttery shortbread. But orange will work in a pinch, and lemon is great in the summer. Recently, I used a tangerine and it was delightful. Avoid lime – lime does not pair well with rosemary in this cookie.

Salted Rosemary Citrus Shortbread

Savory Sweet Shortbread with a herbacous, citrus twist
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12


  • Hand Mixer or Stand Mixer
  • Mixing bowls
  • Tempered glass baking 8 X 8 inch baking pan


  • 1 1/2 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup Rice Flour You can substitute Cake Flour but it changes the texture.
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Rosemary, fine chopped
  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tbp Citrus Zest Grapefruit, Orange or Lemon, omit Lime
  • 2 tsp Turbinado Sugar
  • Flakey Sea Salt Recommend Maldon brand


  • Zest citrus of choice, finely chop fresh rosemary. Measure out ingredients.
  • Line a 8 X 8 inch baking dish (preferrably glass) with parchment paper, leaving a bit of overhang for easy handling.
  • Whisk together flour, cake flour, rosemary, and salt, set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, or a bowl with a hand mixer, combine the butter, granulated sugar and citrus zest and beat on medium high speed until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl as needed.
  • Add flours, rosemary and salt mixture. Beat on low speed until crumbly, then increase speed and mix until well combined.
  • Transfer dough to the prepared pan. I do this in scoops, using an ice cream scoop and placing them strategically in the pan to evenly distribute. Use a spatula, or your hands 🙂 to press dough evenly into the pan. Smooth the top with a spatula, and transfer to the refrigerator. Chill 1 hour until firm.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Remove shortbread from the refridgerator and prick with a fork all over. Sprinkle evenly with the turbinado sugar adn then sprinkle on the flakey sea salt to taste. Go easy on the sea salt to prevent over salting, but let it shine.
  • Bake @ 375 degreees for 30 -35 mjutes until golden brown around the edges and the surface is lightly golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and cut into 1 X 2 inch pieces while the short bread is still in the pan. Let rest for approximately 10 minutes, and then lift the shortbread out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang as handles, and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • Separate cookies when completely cooled. Use a sharp knife to retrace cut marks if necessary.


Cookies can be baked and cut, and stored in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.  Suggest refrigeration if storing for more than 3 days.  You can also freeze cookies for up to 3 months if desired.  

Margarita Cupcakes

Yield: 24 Cupcakes

A party in a paper baking cup! These cupcakes suitable for adult birthdays, Cinco de Mayo, office parties, and summer get togethers. They are as much fun to make as they are to eat.

This recipe starts with a simple white cake mix and then layers in margarita flavor to the cake and glaze. We finish with a little salt and lime cream cheese frosting. The salt will compliment the sweet tart of the lime cream cheese frosting.

If you wish to make a non-alcoholic version of these cupcakes, eliminate the alcohols from the glaze and replace with orange juice in combination with the margarita mix step as all other alcohol in the cake will cook out during baking, but leave behind the bright flavor of the spirits.

While it looks like a few steps, they are all pretty simple. It takes about two hours to make these cupcakes with baking and cooling times.

With a little salt and lime….


8 ounces Margarita Mix (no alcohol)
3 ounces Tequila
1 ounce Grand Marnier
1 box White Cake Mix
3 large Egg Whites
2 Tablespoons Avocado or Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon Lime Zest

1/2 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Margarita Mix (no alcohol)
1/4 Cup Tequila
1/8 Cup Grand Marnier

1 Stick Unsalted Butter, softened 
8 Ounces Cream Cheese, softened
2 Teaspoons Lime Zest
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
4 to 4 1/2 Cups Confectioners Sugar
5 Tablespoons Lime Juice
4 Drops Lime Extract
Finishing Touches
Salt Flakes (suggest Maldon or Fleur de Sel)
Lime, sliced thin then cut slices in half 
Paper straws, cut to desired length


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with baking cups for 24 cupcakes.
  2. Whisk together the margarita mix, Tequila and Grand Marnier in a small bowl or measuring cup. Measure out 1 1/4 cups of liquid (or whatever quantity of water is called for on the cake mix box); reserve any remaining for the glaze.
  3. In a bowl of a stand mixer or mixing bowl with electric mixer, beat egg whites on high until foamy. Add oil and beat a few more seconds until combined with egg whites. Add cake mix and lime zest and the 1 1/4 cups of margarita mix from step 2. Beat on low for 30 seconds and then increase speed to medium for 2-3 minutes. Batter will be smooth but have lumps from the lime zest.
  4. Spoon batter into cupcake liners about 2/3 -3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Know your oven. If it runs hot, check after 15 minutes, increasing time by 5 minute increments until toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cupcakes cook in pan for about 10 minutes and then move to a rack to completely cool.
  5. While cupcakes are cooling make glaze by combining sugar and margarita mix and butter in a small sauce pan.
  6. Heat over low heat, stirring to dissolve sugar and melt butter. When sugarr is dissolved and butter is fully melted, remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients, plus any liquid left from step 2.
  7. When cupcakes are completely cool, use a pastry brush to brush the glaze over the tops of the cupcakes in a thin layer. Do all cupcakes and then repeat the glazing until each cupcake has at least 3 coats of glaze.
  8. Prepare the icing:
    1. In a stand mixer with paddle blade, or large bowl with electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy and combined.
    2. Add in 4 cups of powdered sugar and the remaining ingredients. Beat until creamy.
    3. Add more powdered sugar until the frosting is of the consistency for spreading or piping.
  9. Ice the cupcakes using the method you prefer, spreading or piping it over the glazed cupcakes.
  10. To finish cupcakes, twist the thinly sliced lime halves and place on top of the cupcakes. Add a straw if desired and sprinkle with flake salt very, very lightly. Just a few flakes per cupcake. You want the hint of salt, but not too much.