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Lemon Rosemary Cookies

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Lemon Rosemary Cookies, simple fresh flavors of lemons and rosemary meld together in these buttery shortbread cookies to make an unassuming cookie with a dynamic flavor combination.

I’ve got a ridiculous confession to make. I love the scent of these lemon rosemary cookies so much that I’ve spent weeks looking for a lemon rosemary candle, just so that I can smell them all the time. I’ve even been dreaming about them, but that might have more to do with the fact that my oven is broken and I haven’t been able to bake for over a week.

These cookies might not look wow. In fact, they look rather plain. Trust me, they are anything but plain. The simple flavors of rosemary and lemon meld together in these buttery shortbread cookies to make a wow cookie that will knock your socks off. Bonus, they make your kitchen smell freaking amazing too.

These lemon rosemary cookies are crisp with a buttery crunch and topped with lemon sugar before baking. Perfect for serving alongside tea, iced or hot! 

Fresh rosemary or dried? 

Either one will work in these cookies, so you can use whichever you prefer. Dried rosemary has a much more potent flavor than fresh which means you’ll need less to flavor your cookies. But fresh rosemary adds attractive green flecks of color to the cookies. I’ve used both before depending on what was on hand. 

Butter. These cookies have a lot of butter and that can make them prone to spreading.

 Tips to keep your cookies from spreading too much:

  • Don’t skip on the chilling time. It’s important!
  • Line your baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. 
  • Start with a room temperature baking sheet, never place your cookie dough on a hot baking sheet that’s just come from the oven. 
  • Don’t over flatten! These cookies do require a smoosh, but only press them to around ¼ inch thickness! 

If you happen to end up with leftover lemons and rosemary I’ve got a great classic oven roasted chicken recipe that takes both. 


Lemon Rosemary cookies, lemon slices and rosemary sprigs are spread on a white cloth napkin beside a cup of tea.

Lemon Rosemary Cookies

Yield: 30
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

The simple flavors of rosemary and lemon meld together in these buttery shortbread cookies.


  • 1 cup butter, softened to room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, or 1 Tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Lemon Sugar Topping

  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest


  1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, cream the butter until it is light and fluffy. Add the sugar, rosemary and lemon zest, beating until well blended. Scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, add the 2 egg yolks. Mix until completely incorporated.
  2. To this mixture add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. The cookie dough will be stiff. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  3. Towards the end of the chilling time, prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking pads. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Roll the dough into 1 1/4 inch balls and place at least 2 -2.5 inches apart on the baking sheets. Flatten each ball of dough to about 1/4 inch thick with the bottom of a glass that's been dipped in flour.
  5. Mix the remaining sugar and lemon zest together. Before baking brush each cookie lightly with the egg whites and sprinkle with lemon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.
  6. Let cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an air tight container.

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Please leave a review or a photo! I'd love to hear your feedback!

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Lemon Rosemary Cookies, simple fresh flavors of lemons and rosemary meld together in these buttery shortbread cookies to make an unassuming cookie with a dynamic flavor combination. #lemon #rosemary #cookies #shortbread #accidentalhappybaker

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Paula Montenegro

Saturday 6th of July 2019

I'm excited to try this recipe. I bake with thyme a lot of sweet things, but never rosemary. Wonderful recipe!

Amy D

Monday 8th of July 2019

Ooh, what's your favorite sweet recipe with thyme? I always like to try new things.

Alisha Rodrigues

Saturday 6th of July 2019

I'd love to make some of these for a tea party. I'm sure my guest would love it, definitely attempting these

Michele Peterson

Saturday 6th of July 2019

I love rosemary and lemon on chicken so this is a perfect combo for me! Such a pretty cookie for summer with some lemonade or iced tea.

Amy D

Monday 8th of July 2019

Michele, it's definitely a good way to use up your herbs! And yes, this time of year so refreshing with iced tea.


Saturday 6th of July 2019

A lemon rosemary candle sounds amazing lol! I don't blame you for looking for one :D I want a whole stack of these cookies!

Amy D

Monday 8th of July 2019

Sarah, I'm still looking so if you find one, let me know. In the mean time, enjoy the cookies.


Saturday 6th of July 2019

Ah these look amazing! I have some fresh rosemary sitting in the fridge - can’t wait to make these!

Amy D

Monday 8th of July 2019

What serendipitous timing Sapana! You'll love these.

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