I mentioned on twitter that I was doing cookie recipe testing, and one of my followers commented that they used to make a rosemary shortbread for Christmas every year. Rosemary? Cookie? I thought that sounded interesting, and maybe even awful, so I had to start experimenting. Even if they were gross, I wanted to try a rosemary cookie.
I have rosemary growing in my garden, and a bunch of lemons left over from testing recipes, and figured lemon and rosemary work with chicken, why not cookies? And let me tell you, they are not awful, they are not gross, they are surprisingly amazing. They’re refreshing, a little salty, sweet, and herby. If you like the whole sweet-savory flavor combo, these cookies are for you!
Are these technically shortbread or sugar cookies?
They’re kind of both. It’s fine to call these either “decorated sugar cookies” or “decorated shortbread cookies.” But I’m going to refer to any of my cookie recipes that can used as a base for cookie decorating as “shortbread sugar cookies.”
- 2 parts flour to 1 part fat
- No eggs
- No leavening agent
- Dense and crispy
- 3 parts flour to 2 parts fat
- Contains eggs
- Contains a leavening agent
- Light and Chewy
All of my shortbread sugar cookie recipes don’t rise or spread, can be used for cookie decorating, have egg, but no leavening agent, and have a 2 ¼ parts flour to 1 part fat. Which makes them fall somewhere between a shortbread and a sugar cookie. They’re both shortbread and sugar cookies, and neither shortbread or sugar cookies, at the same time. They’re Shrodinger’s cookies!
All of my shortbread sugar cookie recipes can be used for slice-and-bake cookies as well!
If you would like more info on my preferred ingredient brands, tips and tricks, FAQs, and a little cookie science, I cover all of that in my No-Spread Lemon Shortbread Sugar Cookie Recipe.
Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Sugar Cookies
- measuring spoons and cups
- mixing bowls
- cutting board and knife
- cling wrap
- cookie cutters
- large knife
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 lemon zested
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced rosemary substitute ½ tablespoon dried rosemary
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Zest one lemon, and finely mince 1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary. You can use dried rosemary, but I highly recommend using the fresh stuff.
- Whisk flour, cornstarch and salt together and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugars with paddle attachment, on medium-low speed, until fluffy and pale in color (about 5 minutes).
- Add egg, vanilla extract, lemon zest and rosemary, and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the paddle with a spatula, and then continue to mix on low speed for another 30 seconds to ensure everything is fully incorporated.
- Add dry ingredients, all at once, and mix on low speed just until dough starts to come together and no dry bits remain. Do not overmix.
- Turn dough out onto cling wrap, tightly wrap, and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 4 hours).
- Knead, roll, cut out cookies, and return to fridge or freezer until firm. Leave a couple inches between cookies.
- Bake at 350°F for 15 minutes, rotate pan, and bake for another 1-5 minutes until edges are starting to turn golden brown.
- Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on cookie sheet before handling.
- The reason for adding 1-2 tablespoons of cornstarch to your dough is to prevent your cookies from shrinking or spreading during baking.
- If making slice-and-bake cookies, split dough in half, roll into logs, wrap tightly in cling wrap or parchment paper, and refrigerate before slicing and baking.