Brown Sugar Sage Shortbread

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr (includes chilling and cooling times)
  • Active: 20 min
  • Yield: 10 to 14 shortbread people
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1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1/3 cup confectioners' sugar 

4 teaspoons minced fresh sage 

1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt 

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes and softened 


Special equipment:
a 2 1/2-inch people-shaped cookie cutter
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dark brown sugar, confectioners' sugar, minced sage and salt. Use your fingers and rub the sage into the sugar to release its flavor. Add the flour and mix to combine. Add the butter and blend on low until a smooth dough forms. Scrape the bowl and paddle and blend for another 15 seconds.
  2. Place the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, flatten into a disk and wrap. Allow the dough to chill for at least two hours or up to overnight.
  3. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and line two half sheet pans with parchment.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Working on a lightly floured surface (or between two pieces of parchment), roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness and cut out desired shapes with a 2 1/2-inch people-shaped cookie cutter. Transfer cutouts to the parchment-lined baking sheets and bake until the edges are a deep golden brown, 18 to 20 minutes. Allow to cool completely on the sheet pans.

Cook’s Note

To decorate with meat and cheese: using the same people-shaped cookie cutter, cut out clothing from sliced meat and cheese such as salami, Cheddar or provolone. Use cream cheese in a piping bag to draw on faces.