Food + Drink

Join Us for the KPT Cookie Crawl

It's that time of year again, when Kennebunkport rolls out the red carpet to welcome the holiday season. It's such a jolly good time that Yankee Magazine just called it one of the best Christmas celebrations in New England. One of our favorite - and most delicious - events is the annual Cookie Crawl, and we're not just saying that because we won the best cookie contest last year for our Fried Sage Chocolate Shortbread (pardon the humble holiday brag).

The votes for the 2015 edition are still being tallied, but in the meantime, below is the recipe for our 2014 gold ribbon twist on a classic. We hope these add just the right touch of mischief to your celebration.

Fried Sage Chocolate Shortbread 


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp crumbled, salted fried sage
  • (1 bunch fresh sage, 1/4 cup olive oil, coarse salt)

Optional chocolate drizzle: 1/4 cup heavy cream, 1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 300*F
  2. Prepare the fried sage: Pinch the leaves off your bunch of fresh sage. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Once hot, fry a few leaves at a time for about 5 seconds. Transfer to paper towels and sprinkle generously with salt. Once cool, crush or chop your fried sage to be incorporated into the shortbread dough. Or, If you prefer to simply use fresh sage, we recommend adding a bit of extra salt to the dough as well.
  3. Make the shortbread dough by sifting together flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
  4. Combine butter and sugar in large bowl. Beat until smooth and light in color, about 3 minutes. Mix in vanilla and fried sage, then add the dry ingredients. Stir until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  5. Using an offset spatula, spread dough evenly into a 9 1/2 inch tart pan with a removable bottom (note: if you don’t have a tart pan, try using a regular pie or brownie pan. It just might make the removal of your shortbread pieces a bit more challenging).  Smooth the top with spatula. Prick lightly all over with a fork, and use a knife to make shallow cuts marking 12 equal wedges (or whatever pattern you’re using to define your separate shortbread pieces).
  6. Bake about 55-65 minutes until the top is evenly a muted brown color. Remove from oven. Using the cuts you already marked as a guideline, cut the warm shortbread into 12 wedges. Let shortbread cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.  Remove side section of the pan then slide cookies off the bottom. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Take things over the top: Heat heavy cream in a sauce pan until just boiling. Turn off heat and add chocolate chips. Whisk until melted. If you have some fried sage left over, sprinkle up to 1/2 tablespoon into your melted chocolate and mix. Drizzle over the top of your fried sage chocolate shortbread. Enjoy!