Parmesan Shortbread with Caraway and Sea Salt

I know its hard to believe.  Once in while, I actually do crave something salty and savory.

This recipe is from Blue Bottle Coffee, one of my favorite coffee houses in San Francisco.  I am a big fan of Intelligentsia and I am madly addicted to the Angelino, but there is something really special about Blue Bottle Coffee.  Sadly, they only have locations in Northern California and New York City.  I can’t wait until they open up in Los Angeles.

Aside from their amazing coffee and friendly service, what makes Blue Bottle so great?  They have delicious pastries and inventive snacks.  Your typical fare at coffee shops include scones, muffins, and cookies.   Blue Bottle servers these amazing Parmesan shortbreads that goes great with iced coffee.  I think they make the perfect little pick me up snack.

The richness of the butter, tang of the cheese, mixed with the hint of caraway and salt, brings out all sorts of new flavors in my black coffee.  Its a nice break from the usual maple scone or chocolate almond biscotti I normally enjoy with my coffee.

And if love stinky Parmesan, you will love this shortbread.  However, I must warn you.  Your kitchen (and maybe your entire house) will be filled with the intoxicating aroma of cheese.  While the original recipe listed in Bon Appetit calls for fennel, I substituted caraway seeds.  If you don’t have either, anise seeds, cumin or dill are also good substitutes.


Parmesan Shortbread with Caraway and Sea Salt

Yield: makes 15- 1 1/2 x 3" rectangles


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, room temp
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (or parmesan, romano, asiago cheese blend)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil


  1. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth.  Add confectioners’ sugar, black pepper and salt.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Scrape down sides of bowl.

  2. Add flour and cheese. Mix on low until dough just comes together.

  3. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and flatten into a rectangle. Refrigerate until firm, about two hours.

  4. In a small bowl, mix caraway seeds and sea salt. Set aside.

  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper

  6. Roll out chilled dough on a lightly floured surface to a 5×4-inch rectangle about 1/4” thick. Cut into 1 1/2×3” rectangles, or stamp out desired shapes with cookie cutter.

  7. Arrange cut out cookies on prepared baking sheet. Brush cookies with olive oil, then sprinkle with caraway salt mixture.

  8. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating sheet tray halfway through, until cookies are golden brown. Let cool on sheet tray for 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Notes

 recipe adapted from Bon Appetit March 2012

· · ·
Never Miss a Recipe!

Plus, get exclusive recipes, tips, and previews through our weekly newsletter.

Daily Blog Posts
Weekly Updates

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Anita at Hungry Couple

Hmm. I’m all for cheesy crackers but Parm AND sugar? I can’t picture what these taste like, exactly. But I’d be willing to try one (or a dozen) to see what I thought :)

    the little epicurean

    I was bit weary of cheese and sugar, but I’m sold and I think its delicious!


Delicious! These turned out beautifully!

Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes

Love the photos here- what a great recipe!

Courtney J

Beautiful :) These would definitely cure my salty treat cravings!

Never Miss a Recipe!

Plus, get exclusive recipes, tips, and previews through our weekly newsletter.

Daily Blog Posts
Weekly Updates