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Basil Shortbread Cookies with Tomato Jam Recipe

Tomato jam: Yes, it is a thing, and yes it is delicious. We just tried these Basil Shortbread Cookies with Tomato Jam from Terranea Resort and we’re in love. It’s like one of our favorite foods jumped off the dinner table and started hanging out at the dessert station.

tomato basil


This recipe is part of the Terranea Life series and it’s from VP of Culinary Experiences and Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra & Executive Pastry Chef Pierino Jermonti. (You may remember that Chef Ibarra is a sea salt enthusiast who teaches a class at Terranea Resort all about sea salt.)

For this recipe, all you need is a little patience to get the tomato jam to boil down, and after that it’s lickety-split quick. And what better way to use up those pretty late-summer early fall tomatoes?

Basil Shortbread Cookies with Tomato Jam Recipe

A feathery-light shortbread cookie topped with a unique spicy-sweet tomato jam. Adapted from Executive Chef Bernard Ibarra and Executive Pastry Chef Pierino Jermonti of Terranea Resort.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Basil tomato
Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 8


Tomato Jam

  • 2 1/2 lbs. ripe tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups honey
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 tbsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh jalapeno, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin

Basil Shortbread Cookies

  • 8 oz butter, softened
  • 5 oz powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 10 oz all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 basil leaves, chopped


Tomato Jam

  1. Combine all of the jam ingredients in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer. Simmer uncovered for 90 minutes to two hours, stirring regularly. When the mixture is thickened to a jam consistency, remove from heat and stir several more times to make sure all of the liquid has evaporated. Scoop the jam into a small bowl and set aside.

Basil Shortbread Cookies

  1. In a stand mixer, cream the butter, add the sugar, vanilla, and chopped basil, and continue creaming until smooth. Add the flour and baking powder and stir until combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for one hour.

  2. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a large floured board. Roll it out to 1/4 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut circles of dough. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper; arrange the discs of shortbread dough on the paper, leaving at least 1/2 inch between cookie.

  3. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, or until pale golden brown. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack, then spread tomato jam on the cookies. Note: We used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to pipe the jam onto the cookies in a heart shape. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

What are the things we love about these cookies? Let’s count them out:

1) The perfect flavor of the tomato jam. It’s tart, tangy, and not too sweet. It gives your shortbread cookies something to sing about.

2) The little heart shaped dollop of jam. It’s so easy if you just use a little heart-shaped cookie cutter to pipe the jam into shape.

3) The faint hint of basil. Of course tomato and basil is a classic combination. But when you add it to your dessert, you start to think, “This is truly one of the greatest food combinations ever.” (Are we prone to exaggeration? Nope.)

Bottom line: If you find a better post-summer treat, we need to know about it. And until then, we can enjoy these cookies.


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