Rosemary-Lemon Shortbread

PureWow editors select every item that appears on this page, and the company may earn compensation through affiliate links within the story. All prices are accurate upon date of publish. You can learn more about the affiliate process here.

While a super sugary treat certainly has its place, we’re more often inclined to choose a snack that’s sweetened just enough—which is why we’re enamored with Brian Levy’s new cookbook, Good & Sweet. It’s full of recipes that rely on natural sources of sweetness instead of refined sugar. In the case of this rosemary-lemon shortbread, it’s corn. (Believe it!)

“I can’t imagine a better use for freeze-dried sweet corn than in these cookies,” he writes, “in which it melds with the rosemary and butter in a magical way.”

Psst: You can buy both freeze-dried corn and date sugar online.

Excerpted from Good and Sweet Copyright © 2022 by Brian Levy. Published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

Black Sesame Shortbread


13½ tablespoons (200g) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pan(s)

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

Zest of ½ lemon

1⅓ cups (185g) all-purpose flour

7 tablespoons (40g) cornstarch

1¾ cups (70g) freeze-dried sweet corn

½ cup (70g) date sugar

¼ teaspoon salt


1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 300°F. Lightly grease two 6-inch round metal pans or one 8-inch square metal pan with butter and line with parchment paper.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a bowl with a hand mixer), beat the softened butter with the rosemary and lemon zest on medium-high speed until it’s creamy.

3. In a food processor, combine the flour, cornstarch, freeze-dried corn, date sugar and salt. Pulse a few times to break up the corn, then continue to process for about 1 minute to pulverize everything to a fine powder.

4. Scoop half the dry ingredients into the butter and mix just until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Add the remaining dry ingredients, and pulse just until it forms an even, loose, sandy texture.

5. Empty the dough into your parchment-lined pan(s) and press it very hard (use your body weight) with your fingers and the heel of your hand to form a level surface. Use a fork to gently score lines that divide the dough into 16 cookies (8 wedges each if you are using round pans; 16 squares if you are using a square pan).

6. Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Just after taking the shortbread out of the oven, with the shortbread still in the pan(s), use a sharp knife to slice along the scored lines. Cool completely before serving (they are even better after a couple of hours) and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

PureWow Editors
Our editorial team works with a variety of writers and experts across all fields to produce thoroughly researched stories that resonate with you. Our mission is to be that...
read full bio

Why You Should Trust Us

PureWow's editors and writers have spent more than a decade shopping online, digging through sales and putting our home goods, beauty finds, wellness picks and more through the wringer—all to help you determine which are actually worth your hard-earned cash. From our PureWow100 series (where we rank items on a 100-point scale) to our painstakingly curated lists of fashion, beauty, cooking, home and family picks, you can trust that our recommendations have been thoroughly vetted for function, aesthetics and innovation. Whether you're looking for travel-size hair dryers you can take on-the-go or women’s walking shoes that won’t hurt your feet, we’ve got you covered.