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Rye Shortbread Cookies

Rye Shortbread Cookies

These cookies are delicious eaten the day of, but we were surprised at how complex they tasted after sitting overnight. The flavor deepens and the texture improves with time. This recipe is from Tandem Coffee and Bakery in Portland, ME.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ tsp. finely grated orange zest
  • 2 cups rye flour (dark rye if possible)
  • ¼ cup black or white sesame seeds

Recipe Preparation

  • Using an electric mixer on medium high-speed (or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment), beat butter in a large bowl until smooth, about 1 minute. Add granulated sugar, orange zest, and kosher salt and beat again just to combine.

  • Reduce mixer speed to medium-low, add egg, and beat, scraping down sides of bowl, just until combined.

  • Reduce mixer speed to low and, working in 2 batches, beat in flour, scraping down bowl in between additions, until just combined and no dry spots remain (do not overmix).

  • Dampen a work surface with a bit of water and place a large sheet of plastic wrap on top (the water will help the plastic adhere smoothly to the counter).

  • Place half of dough in the center of plastic wrap, then fold plastic over to cover dough and protect your hands from getting all sticky. Using your hands, form dough into a log shape (rolling it on the counter will help), until log is about 2" in diameter and 5" long. Repeat with remaining dough. Chill logs until firm, about 2 hours.

  • Place racks on upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 350°. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Mix sesame seeds, demerara sugar, and sea salt on a small rimmed baking sheet or plate. Unwap dough and roll in sesame seed mixture until coated.

  • Slice dough into ¼"-thick rounds. Arrange on prepared baking sheets, spacing about 1" apart. Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through, until golden brown and firm, 25–30 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool.

  • Do Ahead: Cookies can be made 2 days ahead. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe by Tandem Coffee and Bakery, Portland, MEReviews SectionThese cookies are amazing. I love the orange zest, and the complex flavor of the rye flour. The bottom third of my oven tends to burn things quickly, so I stuck to one sheet pan at a time in the middle rack of my oven. If you have an industrial grade oven you could probably do two sheets at a time. Know your oven! I tried the first batch at 25 minutes, and it was great. I tried the second batch at 15 minutes and I really preferred the melt in your mouth, slightly softer texture. I used the Bob's Red Mill Dark Rye Flour with great success. I have ordered the Maine Grains rye flour which is the same one that Tandem uses, and I can't wait to try it again with that flour. I will definitely be making this one again. Other notes: This makes about 2 dozen cookies, and trust me they'll go fast. Also, I made the dough logs two days ahead of time to let the flour fully hydrate and the flavor become more complex. I always chill any cookie dough at least one to two days because it gives me better results. Plus, when you go to make them, the hard work and cleanup is already done so you can just relax with a cup of coffee! I hope more people make this recipe because rye flour is awesome.lifeis_shortLos Angeles, CA05/03/20* I forgot to mention the brand. It's King Arthur Organic Pumpernickel Flour.Tip: be careful that you use a finely ground rye flour, not anything resembling rye meal. I mistakenly used Hodgson Mill whole grain rye flour, which is more line a fine meal. The dough did not absorb the butter very well, so the cookies spread out a lot in the oven and became too crispy. Next time I will try Organic Pumpernickel Flour as it is reportedly very fine.

Watch the video: Rye Blueberry Cookies. Kitchen Vignettes. PBS Food