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Food & Recipes

These Savory Cookie Recipes Are the Perfect Addition to Any Charcuterie Board — So Easy + Delicious

Plus, a pastry chef shares the secret to amping up the savoriness in the cookies!

We can’t think of anyone who doesn’t love a soft and tender cookie. Chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal — no matter the flavor, they make for a sweet treat. But what if cookies weren’t limited to dessert? Savory cookies — that is, cookies made with savory ingredients instead of sweet ones — are the latest in a long line of baking trends that are turning the food world as we know it on its head. Keep reading for two savory cookie recipes that are sure to impress your friends and family.

What is a savory cookie?

Savory cookies are not an oxymoron — although they may make you wonder what exactly makes a cookie a cookie. “It’s actually quite hard to define a cookie when you get down to it,” food writer Sara Dickerman says. The most basic definition is “a small, flat or slightly raised cake.” The word “cake” here may seem odd, but like cakes, cookies are also baked. Luckily, this vague definition allows plenty of room for experimentation.

Can’t get enough cookies? Click through to learn how to Bake Healthy Cookies with just two ingredients!

How savory cookies came about

Savory cookies have a long historical precedent. Savory biscuits have been around for hundreds of years, and the Folger Shakespeare Library even has a savory biscuit recipe dating back to the 17th century; while biscuits and cookies aren’t exactly the same, they’re certainly related. Lifehacker describes savory cookies as “thicker than a cracker, crumbly, and tender with flavorful and/or aromatic add-ins, ranging from nuts and seeds to herbs and aged cheeses,” pointing out that these baked goods have long existed in Italian and Indian cultures.

In the US, some savory cookie recipes emerged as a result of the frugality or resourcefulness of home cooks, as seen in a tomato cookie recipe from 1926 (a cousin of tomato soup cake, perhaps?). Ultimately, savory cookies allow for creativity in the kitchen. Not only can they pair beautifully with a glass of wine or make an elegant addition to a charcuterie board, they also present an opportunity to get your kids to try flavors they might otherwise avoid.

Pastry chef’s surprise ingredient for extra savory cookies

Many savory cookie recipes use a shortbread dough, a crumbly cookie base made with butter, flour and other baking staples. But to boost the cookies’ flavor, April Franqueza, pastry chef at High Hampton Resort, adds another fat into the mix: bacon grease. “Instead of using all butter for a shortbread, substitute one third of the butter for bacon grease,” she says. “This will give your cookies a savoriness you’ve never known!” Once measured, you can incorporate the bacon fat and butter together as directed in the recipe. It’s best to use soft yet solidified grease as it will combine easily with the rest of the ingredients and help the cookies rise. (Click through to these stories on cooking eggs in bacon grease and bacon grease chocolate chip cookies.)

2 savory cookie recipes worth baking

With people wanting healthier alternatives to sugary snacks, savory cookies are more popular than ever. Here are two surprising recipes that will allow you to get creative with your cookies.

Seaweed Sesame Cookies

Savory seaweed sesame cookies as part of a roundup of cookie recipes

Seaweed is a staple of Japanese snacking, and it’s filled with nutrients that are good for your thyroid, blood sugar and heart health. While seawood is known for playing a starring role in sushi, it can also be enjoyed in cookie form. Try these Savory Seaweed Cookies, adapted from the seaweed snack company Gimme.


For Cookies:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup tahini
  • 1 egg
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup finely chopped seaweed
  • 1 tsp. baking powder

For Topping:

  • 3 Tbs. white sesame seeds
  • 3 Tbs. finely chopped seaweed
  • ¼ cup extra coarse sugar crystals 


  • Yield: 12 cookies
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine topping ingredients and set aside. Get small dish of water and set aside.
  3. In large bowl using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar 1 to 2 minutes until pale and creamy.
  4. Beat in tahini and egg until smooth.
  5. Add flour, seaweed, and baking powder, then stir until just combined. (Depending on your tahini your dough can vary in consistency; if too wet add 1 to 2 Tbs. flour and if too dry, add 1 to 2 Tbs. water.)
  6. Scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll into ball; roll in water, roll in toppings, then place on prepared baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Repeat to make approximately 24 cookie balls.
  7. Before baking, gently smash dough balls then bake 13 to 15 minutes until slightly dry around edges. Let cool on baking sheets.

Savory Shortbread Cookies With Olives and Rosemary

Savory shortbread cookies with olives and rosemary as part of a roundup of cookie recipes

These elegant, charcuterie board-ready cookies come from the experts at The New York Times. With their smattering of dark shapes, they may look like chocolate chip cookies, but don’t be fooled — these are olive cookies, and they’re a yummy way to reap the health benefits of Kalamatas and enjoy some Mediterranean flavor. 


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ½ cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 6 Tbs. heavy cream


  • Yield: 24 cookies
  1. In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, and rosemary. Zest lemon into bowl, add butter and rub pieces into flour mixture using your fingers until small pebbles form. (Alternatively, use food processor to pulse dry ingredients with butter.)
  2. Add chopped olives, tossing to coat with flour mixture. Pour cream over mixture, stir just until combined and squeeze until dough comes together in a clump. Divide dough in two equal 9-inch logs. Wrap each log firmly in a strip of parchment paper and twist ends shut. Refrigerate until dough is firm enough to slice, about 30 minutes and up to 3 days.
  3. Heat oven to 350°F. Line sheet pan with parchment paper. Slice each log into ½-inch rounds. Lay rounds on prepared baking sheet, spacing at least ½ inch apart.
  4. Bake until cookies are golden at bottom edges, about 22 minutes, rotating once halfway through baking. Move cookies to wire rack to cool completely. Store at room temperature in airtight container for up to 3 days. The baked cookies can also be stored frozen in airtight container for up to 5 days. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

Read on if you’re hungry for more unique cookie recipes!

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Whip up Valerie Bertinelli’s 10-Minute Healthy Breakfast Cookies (Yes, You Read That Right!)

Blueberry Cookies Are the Ultimate Soft and Chewy Treat — 3 Success Secrets + 2 Recipes

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