Hint: It involves cookies!
Everything seasoning
Credit: Getty / Michelle Lee Photography

Shortbread is a cookie that is incredibly adaptable. Sure, the basic version is delicious on its own, but you can add almost anything to the basic recipe—mini chocolate chips, pine nuts, citrus zest, spices, lavender buds, or flavored sugars—and come out with a fantastic result.

So, it should not have surprised me that shortbread could take one of the most intense of all mix-ins: Everything Bagel Seasoning.

Stay with me...

Why I tried Everything Bagel Seasoning in shortbread

It started with a lemon poppyseed shortbread. Pretty classic. But I also love salt on my shortbread, so I sprinkled some fleur de sel on the top of the cookies before baking for little pops of crunchy salinity. And that combination of salt, lemon, and poppyseed was a winner. Which got me thinking. Poppyseed and salt are both in Everything Bagel Seasoning. So are sesame seeds, which I love in shortbread. Toasted onion leans into that sweet, caramelized onion flavor, and I make a chocolate chip cookie with white miso and black garlic in it... You can see where my mind was going. So, I made a batch of my basic shortbread, minus the vanilla, with Everything Bagel Seasoning.

And it really worked! I kept some lemon zest in the recipe for brightness and balance, and the result leans into that wonderful space of sweet, salty, and savory. The kind of cookie that can stand being served with a cup of sweet hot tea, or with a schmear of cream cheese. If you like sweet and salt together, this recipe might be your new favorite cookie.

Everything Bagel Seasoning Shortbread

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature, cubed

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour

⅓ cup granulated sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1-2 Tbsp. Everything Bagel Seasoning

1. Grease and flour an 8-inch tart pan with removeable bottom. Heat the oven to 350°.

2. In a mixing bowl using the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and lemon zest on low speed until the sugar is damp and sandy.

3. Add the butter, increase the speed, and beat until light and fluffy. Add the flour and beat on low speed until it comes together in what looks like craggy clumps.

4. Add the Everything Bagel Seasoning and mix just to combine. The clumps should form a dough when you squeeze them.

5. Pat the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even level, and using a fork, score into 12 wedges. Bake for 20-25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway, until the shortbread is lightly golden around the edges.

6. Cool 5 minutes on a rack, then remove the tart ring and gently, using an offset spatula, slide the shortbread off the bottom of the tart pan onto a cutting board, and carefully slice along the prescored wedges and put the cookies back onto the rack to finish cooling. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.