This Simple Rye Shortbread Recipe is an unassuming rustic cookie. Rye adds a lovely nutty flavor to this classic shortbread cookie. It is a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
What Makes This Recipe Work?
First of all, these are precisely what a good shortbread cookie should be. They are no-fuss, comfort cookies. They are lightly sweetened, but not overly sweet, which is my kind of cookie. When something is so sweet, I have a hard time enjoying it.
Next, these are made with rye, a whole grain. This makes them a much healthier option than other shortbread recipes. Rye is high in fiber and protein and adds heart-healthy nutrients to the bake.
You can easily make these ahead of time. This cookie dough will hold in the fridge for up to a week, or frozen for a month! I like to keep it on hand and bake a few when I get a craving for sweets.
- Rye flour- I like to grind my own grains in my Nutrimill grain mill. I buy the grains from Azure Standard. You can also buy the flour locally, or I really like to use Bluebird Grain Farms.
- Salt- I used kosher salt in the cookie, then flake salt on the top.
- Butter- make sure this is softened to room temperature.
- Granulated sugar- you can also use sucanat or brown sugar if you prefer.
- Vanilla- Pure vanilla
- Egg- I used a large egg in this recipe.
- Orange zest- Make sure to wash and dry your orange first before zesting.
How To Make
I made my cookies in a food processor, but you can also make them with a stand or hand mixer. Any of these work well. The food processor is the fastest, which is why I used it.
The first thing to do is to add the orange zest to the sugar. Mix it well. This is the best way to better distribute the orange throughout the cookies.
Next, add the butter and orange sugar to the food processor. Give them a few pulses until it is mixed well.
Add in the egg and vanilla and pulse a few times again. Scrape down the sides and add the flour and salt on top of that. With a spoon or fork, mix the salt into the flour on top. Then, pulse to combine. Scrape the edges and pulse a few more times.
Take the dough and place it on a piece of saran wrap. Roll it into a log, it will be soft, so do your best. Roll it up and place it in the fridge to chill.
I let mine chill for about an hour. Then slice in ½-inch slices and place on your baking sheet. I put 12 on a sheet. Bake until the edges are just slightly browned. Don't overdo it.
Remove from the oven and let them cool for about 5 minutes on the pan. Then, gently scoop them into a cooling rack. That is it! Done!
- There are a few different types of rye flour you can buy. I prefer the dark rye, as this is the whole grain flour. The medium and light right is sifted for a lighter color and milder flavor. But, this also means that you won't get all the health benefits from whole grain flour. I will say though, if this is your first time baking with rye flour, medium and light may be a good place to start. They are much easier for someone to get used to.
- I really like to chill these before baking. It helps the flour to hydrate, but also for the batter to firm up a bit for baking.
- If you are making these ahead of time, wrap them tightly in saran wrap. They will hold in the fridge for up to a week. If you are freezing them, wrap them in saran wrap and freeze for a few hours. Then, place them in a freezer Ziplock bag. They will hold for up to a month. Let them thaw in the fridge the night before baking. Then slice as usual.
Simple Rye Shortbread Cookies
- ¾ cup softened butter
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1 ¾ cups rye flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Combine the zest and sugar, then mix well. Now add the orange sugar and butter to a food processor, or stand mixer.
- Pulse until they are well combined. Add in the vanilla and egg. Pulse again to combine. Scrape down the edges. Then add in the flour with the salt on top. With a fork or spoon mix in the salt.
- Then pulse again to combine the flour. Scrape the sides and pulse a few more times.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and place it on parchment. Roll it into a log, then cover with the saran wrap.
- Place the cookie dough in the fridge and let it chill for at least an hour or up to 1 week.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Remove the cookie log and cut it into ½-inch pieces. Place 12 per baking sheet and place them in the oven. Bake for 10-14 minutes. You want the edges to be just slightly browned.
- Carefully remove the pan from the oven and let the cookies cool for about 5 minutes before gently placing them on a cooling rack.
- That is it! They are ready to be enjoyed and ready to go.