Tory Saks

Tasty Recipes

Thyme-Olive Oil Shortbread Cookies

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I am not sure how this tradition started, however, Valentine’s Day has been something that my family has celebrated as a time of togetherness, love, and connectivity. In the last few years the ladies on my mom’s side of the family have celebrated by hosting a Valentine’s Tea at my mom’s house. Let me tell you that curating a tea is much more in-depth than I first thought! When we were planning the tea my mom happened on this recipe that she has saved from a handful of years ago.  The fact that the recipe called for extra virgin olive oil was an added bonus!

To say this fun play on a traditional shortbread cookie was a hit was an understatement as this has quickly become a family favorite. Adding olive oil gives this cookie added richness and has less butter than the more conventional recipes. Not a huge fan of the herb thyme? I say, give it another try, it might just surprise you. Or swap out thyme for another herb like rosemary or basil. 

Whip this up, pop a cookie in your mouth, pretend you are taking a picnic, and imagine the beauty surrounding you.

From the May 2019 – Shape magazine


Saying “HI” from our Valentine’s Day Tea

Thyme-Olive Oil Shortbread Cookies

**Makes about 7 dozen cookies


  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup Aqua et Oleum extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1 ¾ cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sparkling sugar (optional, I preferred these cookies without the sparkling sugar or only lightly sprinkled)


  • Step 1: Beat the butter with the oil until smooth. Add the granulated sugar, thyme, and salt and beat until evenly mixed. Beat in the egg yolk until incorporated; reserve the white. Add the flour and mix until large clumps form.
  • Step 2: Press the clumps together into a 6-by-4-by-1-inch rectangle. Cover tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm, at least 1 hour.
  • Step 3: Preheat the oven to 350°. Line cookie sheet with parchment.
  • Step 4: Using a sharp knife, cut the rectangle lengthwise into four 6-by-1- by-1-inch rectangles. Cut each into ¼-inch-thich slices. Put the squares onto the prepared sheets, spacing them 1 ½ inches apart. If the dough has softened, refrigerate or freeze until firm.
  • Step 5: Sprinkle the lavender on the cookies. Then lightly dust the sparkling sugar over the cookies.
    • (Optional – Mix the lavender and sparkling sugar in a small bowl. Lightly brush the tops of the dough squares with the egg white, then sprinkle lightly with the lavender mixture.)
  • Step 6: Bake 1 sheet at a time until the cookies are golden brown around the edges, 13 to 15 minutes
  • Step 7: Let cool completely on wire racks

The first time we made this recipe we made them into the squares. Honestly, we preferred the playfulness of the heart shaped ones! I say when you are in the kitchen, bake with love and experiment and see what shapes, sizes, and thickness you want to play around with on these cookies.

As my mom says, when you bake with love you taste the difference and your body feels the difference.

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