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Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

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One of my favorite things about holiday baking is bringing out my cookie cutter collection.

When I moved into my loft with practically zero storage, I had to do some serious kitchen downsizing. Just about anything that was not multi-functional and/or used within the past 6 months got the boot. It was kind of sad for a food blogger, but simplifying still always feels so good. One of the few practical exceptions I made was for my massive cookie cutter collection. It takes up way too much space in my tiny pantry, and I admittedly mostly only use it at Christmastime. But whenever the occasion arises, it makes me so happy to go digging through the set on a scavenger hunt for that “perfect” cookie cutter.

Ha, that said, I felt like the perfect shape for these simple Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies was a classic Christmas tree. Cute and simple, and perfect to highlight those tiny sprigs of rosemary as the “branches”. These were also wonderfully delicious, with the tart lemon and savory rosemary giving a fun twist to the classic sweet and buttery shortbread. I also up adding a lemon glaze to half of the batch (after taking the photos!), which I highly recommend too.

So whether you also turn these into little Christmas trees, shape them into simple circles, or whatever your heart desires, I hope you enjoy these as much as I did!

Do you have a cookie cutter collection? Any favorite cookie cutter shapes?

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Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 2 reviews
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes


Rosemary and lemon provide a delicious twist to these buttery shortbread cookies.



Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookie Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tspvanilla extract
  • 1/2 tspalmond extract
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. grated lemon zest
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Lemon Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 46 tsp. fresh lemon juice


To Make The Cookies:

  1. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract, mix until blended. Add the rosemary, lemon zest salt and flour and mix well.
  2. Divide dough in half. Place one piece of dough on a large piece of plastic wrap; cover with a second piece of plastic wrap and roll out dough between plastic wrap to 1/4-inch thickness. Place on a baking sheet and transfer to refrigerator and chill until firm, about 45 minutes. Repeat process with remaining dough.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  4. Remove dough from refrigerator, and use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes. Place each on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges just start to slightly brown. Remove and let cool for 1 minute, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

To Make The Glaze:

  1. Whisk powdered sugar and 4 tsp. lemon juice together until well mixed. Add more lemon juice to thin out the glaze if desired.

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24 comments on “Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies”

  1. These sound really lovely – lemon and rosemary is such a wonderful combination!

  2. These sound fabulous–love the addition of rosemary!

  3. Love these flavors- rosemary with anything sweet is awesome. I have a set of cookie cutters from when I was a little girl. I love baking with my boys and using them!

  4. Shortbread cookies are always a winner for me. I love the idea of adding lemon, it’s like bringing a bit of Southern Italy to Scotland…

  5. I love cookies like this that aren’t too sweet. They are so pretty, too!

  6. I love the combo of lemon and rosemary! I have a bunch of cookie cutters. My favorite is my Halloween cat with its arched back.

  7. Love these little shortbread trees!

  8. Lemon and rosemary are great together, and these cookies look too good!!

  9. These are so pretty, Ali! Love the flavor combo too.

  10. These are so classic and beautiful! Just the perfect amount of sweetness I bet.

  11. Lemon and rosemary in a buttery cookie sounds like a most heavenly combination. Delicious!

  12. What an awesome combo of flavors! I actually don’t have a cookie cutter collection but I’m hoping that changes in 2013!

  13. Is it awful that I’d leave the rosemary out of these? I just haven’t grown up enough for that. ;)

    And hooray for cookie cutters! I could never get rid of the 10 I have. And these are super cute. Love how simple they are!

  14. I love my cookie cutter collection, and it has outgrown its storage — new storage containers are needed because I can’t part with them. This cookie sounds so refreshing after the too-many-sweets holiday season; will try, thanks!

  15. Made these today and they turned out lovely! I halved the recipe and used 1 egg yolk instead of halving a whole egg. I was too lazy to roll out the dough, so I shaped it into a log and froze the log for 30 min before slicing it into 1/4 inch slices. I got 24 cookies out of it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  16. The snowman shape is my favorite, with the star a close second.

  17. How many cookies will the recipe make?

  18. Lovely, light cookies! The balance of flavors is perfect and so scrumptious! I made my dough into a log wrapped in plastic wrap, and sliced just for ease. The shapes aren’t as perfect, but for my purposes (me and my family) it works great. I also stuck it in the freezer for 15 min to speed up the process as well instead of the fridge for 30.

  19. These are amazing. They hold their shape so well in the oven! and taste amazing! Highly recommend these!

  20. You don’t say what the yield is for recipe….

  21. I was passed this recipe from dear friends nearly five years ago and it’s become my go-to cookie recipe. It converted to a GF recipe seamlessly (w/ King Arthur 1:1). I’ve experimented with other “favors” including cocoa, which was well received. I have a darling cow cookie cutter (I live on a farm) and every year am asked if I’ll make them for the holidays. Beautiful recipe! Thank you!