Simple Provisions

Food does not need to be fancy to be celebrated

Pine Nut and Rosemary Cookies | Simple Provisions

I worked at an ice-cream shop when I was at university. One of the perks of the job was taking home a couple of generous scoops of Chocolate Ecstasy and Chocolate Mud, topped with hot fudge, at the end of every shift. My sweet tooth became extremely well developed, and got used to a constant supply of rich, creamy chocolate.

My university years provided enough sugar to fill my lifetime quota. I don’t eat many sweet things these days, but when I do, I go for quality over quantity, and opt for something a little more subtle than a triple choc sundae.

We had friends over for lunch on Sunday and I needed something sweet to round out a simple meal of cauliflower soup served with ham, cheese and pear toasties. The market had offered up crisp, fragrant red apples as well as plump mandarins and I grabbed more of those  walnuts I found last week. I had the beginnings of a winter fruit platter but it needed something extra.

Pine Nut and Rosemary Cookies | Simple Provisions

These Pine Nut and Rosemary Cookies provided the sweetness I wanted in a rather posh way. They’re a sweet biscuit with an unexpected savoury note. The sugar cookie base bakes up into a beautifully even shape that is slightly chewy. A savoury, forrest-inspired overtone is added with the pine nuts and rosemary. This is helped along with a good-quality olive oil. The cookies are still sweet, but with a more grown-up demeanour than your average biscuit.

I made these cookies with a hand-held electric whisk. If you have a big electric mixer, your life must be filled with wonderful baked things, and these cookies will be even simpler to make. Spreading your cookie dough balls over a few cookie sheets results in a much more even bake. When placing your baking paper or parchment on your cookie sheets, sprinkle some water on the sheet before laying down the paper. This will keep the paper in place nicely.

When served with a cup of coffee, these cookies provide a not-too-sweet, and rather interesting, finish to a lazy Sunday lunch. They’re not bad for Monday afternoon tea either.

Pine Nut and Rosemary Cookies | Simple Provisions

Pine Nut and Rosemary Cookies

This is a Martha Stewart recipe. Martha says it makes 6 1/2 dozen, I got 42 out of the batch I made.


  • 3 1/2 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted, plus more for topping cookies
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb (baking) soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 10 tablespoons (140g or 1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • Caster (sanding) sugar, for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 160C / 325F.

Finely chop rosemary and pine nuts, either by hand or in a food processor. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in 2 cups of flour, the bicarb (baking) soda, ginger, salt and set aside.

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer (I used a hand mixer, but a paddle attachment on a KitchenAid would have made life easier). Mix on high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in oil and reduce speed to low. Mix in flour mixture. Add cream and mix well to combine, about 2 minutes. Mix in the egg and the remaining 1/4 cup flour.

Shape dough into small (3/4 inch) balls and space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with baking paper. Flatten slightly with fingers and top each with a pine nut. Sprinkle with caster (sanding) sugar.

Bake cookies, rotating sheets half way through, until the edges are golden, about 13-14 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes on sheets on wire racks. Transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

Cookies can be stored in airtight containers up to 3 days.

24 thoughts on “Pine Nut and Rosemary Cookies

  1. ritavegas says:

    I bookmark it girl and I’m going to make them really soon! They look so scrumptious! Very creative! Great post :)

    1. Amelia says:

      Thanks Rita! I took the leftovers to work on Monday and they disappeared pretty quickly, they are tasty!

  2. haha ‘posh’ is definitely a perfect adjective for these guys. My mom has a bunch of fresh rosemary in her garden . . . and sage and basil too :) I might add those as well . . . yummy!

    1. Amelia says:

      Herb garden jealousy!

  3. These are perfect! I have everything on hand and I’m going to make them. Lovely little setting with the Bialetti..I want to sit there too.

    1. Amelia says:

      You’d be very welcome to pop over for a coffee and biscuit! :)

  4. fudgingood says:

    What a perfect combination. I am really looking forward to making these.

    1. Amelia says:

      I hope you enjoy!

  5. Saskia (1=2) says:

    Amelia, these look so, so good. I’m definitely pinning to try later. Beautiful photos. I love rosemary and pinenuts together. If you haven’t tried it, you’ll LOVE Tessa Kiros’ Honey rosemary cake. I omit the lemon icing and scatter pinenuts on top. I’ve been making it for years. One of our favourites!

    1. Amelia says:

      Anything Tessa Kiros does is good with me, I have saved this to try FOR SURE. Thanks Saskia!

  6. These look and sound absolutely delicious! I’m definitely going to make them very soon!

  7. These cookies look so delicious! I love cookies with herbs! Bookmarking this–thanks for sharing!

    1. Amelia says:

      You’re welcome Ada

  8. I feast on your immaculate photography as well as on your recipes. That black and white one is a beauty and you have such an eye for detail – sugar grains, the sprig of rosemary, the wooden saucers. I’m also suffering oven-envy: I’m spending two months in an apartment with only two gas rings.

    1. Amelia says:

      Thank you so much for those kind words. Good luck with the two gas rings! You won’t know yourself when you get a proper oven back :)

  9. Ashley Marie says:


    Your inspiring blog has been nominated for: The Versatile Blogger Award! You’ve been nominated by: Me! Visit my page to see your blog’s nomination. Scroll to the bottom!

    …and thanks for the great reads.

  10. Antypasti says:

    will definitely try this. might replace pinenuts with walnuts or whatever I have in my kitchen right now. What I always fail with cookies is to get the shape right :-/

    1. Amelia says:

      I found these relatively easy to get a nice shape with, as the batter is easy to roll into a ball. I tend to struggle with keeping the size consistent, but using a teaspoon to measure the batter for rolling helped.

  11. I made these yesterday for an afternoon tea party, and the eaters were much delighted. I went the old-skool approach, softening the butter and creaming it with sugar with a wooden spoon, chopping herbs and nuts with a knife, stirring the whole bunch together with said spoon.

    1. Amelia says:

      Manual labour cookies! Impressive. No wonder your eaters were delighted, all that love!

  12. Wow! I’ll have to give these a try!

  13. The cookies look tasty. I would have never thought about that combination. I’ll be making these soon!

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