Lemon-Rosemary Shortbread

Every time I teach the women’s Sunday auxiliary class in church, I try to take a treat.  It’s a girl thing, I think, and I really should cease and desist.  But part of it is there’s only the two of us at home now, and if I want to make a sweet and share it, this is a good venue.  Why did the lemon-rosemary combination pop into my head?  Because somewhere, somehow I read about it.  I searched the web and found this recipe, but I know it wasn’t the original thought-prompter.

Rosemary? I have two kinds–the trailing and the shrubby bush.  I somehow like to cook with the trailing rosemary much better, but I can’t really tell you why. Maybe it is the sinuous tendrils that grow out from the plant.

And our Meyer lemons are coming on strong now, all golden and glossy in our backyard.  Can’t resist.  So go and get yourself some fresh rosemary, some fresh lemons, and make these cookies.  Somehow the rosemary “amps” up the taste of the lemon, so all you can identify is mmmmm. . . lemon shortbread.


3 sticks of butter, at room temperature
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons lemon juice
zest from one lemon, or about 1 Tbs.
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary.  I used a rolling mincer after I’d pulled the leaves off the stem.


In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment) cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Mix until combined.

In a small bowl whisk flour and salt together. Slowly add this to the butter mixture, mixing until completely incorporated.

Add the rosemary and beat until evenly distributed.

Shape the dough into a flat disk and either stow in it a  Ziploc bag, or wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350°F.  (If you forget and leave the dough in overnight, let it warm up a few minutes before you try to roll it out.)

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until 1/8- 1/4 inch thick.  Cut with a small cookie cutter and place on an ungreased cookie sheet about an inch apart.  Sprinkle with granulated sugar.

Bake for about 8-10 minutes, rotating half way through. They will be just golden around the edges. Watch them closely, since they can bake quickly at the end.

Cook’s Notes: If you want to roll them thicker (1/4″), cook them a little longer.  They will be pale in both cases.

If you make the larger sized cookie, let it cool 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving it to the cooling rack.  These are very tender cookies!

Here they are, all wrapped up and ready to go!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *