The Jefferson Shares It’s Shortbread Secrets!

At The Jefferson in Washington DC guests are welcomed to their stay by warm-from-the-oven shortbread cookies to make them feel at home.  Now the chef is letting guests in on the secrets of The Jefferson’s Cranberry and Thyme Shortbread cookies, so they can share one of Thomas’ favorites with their friends!

Thomas Jefferson cultivated both “bush cranberries” and thyme along with the many other fruits and herbs that could be found in the orchards and kitchen gardens of his beloved Monticello in Charlottesville,Virginia.  Our seasonal cranberry/thyme shortbread from Pastry Chef Fabrice Leray is the latest in a series of house-made shortbread recipes inspired by our hotel’s namesake Thomas Jefferson.  Guests arriving at The Jefferson Hotel often receive the shortbread as a welcome amenity upon their arrival.  Whether checking in or making the shortbread at home, we highly recommend it with a glass of Madeira, just as Mr. Jefferson himself might have done.

Chef Fabrice’s Cranberry/Thyme Shortbread


2 ½ cups all purpose flour    .

2 ½ tablespoons dried thyme

2 cups butter

2 egg yolks

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

½ cup chopped dried cranberries



Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix together in a kitchen bowl the flour, butter, egg yolks, salt, granulated sugar and the thyme with a paddle until the mixture resembles fine crumbs, then add the dried cranberries and knead until smooth.

Roll out to a ½ inch thickness, then refrigerate the rolled dough for at least 24 hours.

Using a knife, cut the rolled dough into 2” x 4” rectangular bars and place on a silpat tray.

Bake for 6 to 10 minutes or until bottoms just start to brown.

Cool on a wire rack.


Makes approximately 30-40 pieces

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