Rosemary Shortbread

by Dorothy Reinhold on December 17, 2019

Print This Post Print This Post Rosemary Shortbread, a simple sweet cookie with savory undertones from the rosemary, surprises on a holiday cookie tray, or any time of the year when you want a unique sweet.

Rosemary Shortbread, a simple sweet cookie with savory undertones from the rosemary, surprises on a holiday cookie tray, or any time of the year when you want a unique sweet.

Each year I feel some angst over what cookies to bring to this or that gathering, what to add to a sweets plate to make it unique, or simply what to offer food-crazed restaurant maven friends with impossibly jaded palates.

What can you bring or offer that sets you apart from the holiday horde-bearing sweets?

Easy Rosemary Shortbread Recipe on ShockinglyDelicious.comRosemary Shortbread is the answer. A simple savory sweet, this easy bar cookie will delight anyone who has seen too many thickly frosted snowmen on the cookie plate.

[2019 UPDATE: My husband won 2 prizes in Dec. 2019 in his work cookie contest with this recipe — “Most Original” and “Best Represents Holiday in L.A.” He made them himself; trust me, they are so very simple to do.]

In other regions of the country, climatically challenged gardeners have to bring their potted herbs inside as soon as it is fall, and often by December they are over-dried from heated air and they’ve simply had it from being cooped up. Not ours, though. In our temperate clime in Southern California, rosemary grows out back all year long as part of the landscaping, so much so that we pretty much ignore it until a recipe calls for it and we go scurrying outside with a kitchen shears.

Rosemary Shortbread cut into 36 piecesSo if you’re a lucky gardener with a fresh rosemary plant, let’s use it for this memorable cookie.

Rosemary Shortbread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 36 cookies

Rosemary Shortbread

Rosemary Shortbread, a simple sweet cookie with savory undertones from the rosemary, surprises on a holiday cookie tray, or any time of the year when you want a unique sweet.


  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature (this is 1 stick = 4 ounces = 8 tablespoons)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2-2 1/2 teaspoons finely minced fresh rosemary (I always use the larger amount)
  • Zest of 1 lemon, grated (yellow part only)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • Finishing: 1 to 2 tablespoons coarse sugar crystals (or extra granulated sugar)


  1. Heat oven to 300F degrees. Using electric mixer, cream the butter with 1/4 cup sugar, rosemary and lemon zest until light and fluffy, a minute or two [NOTE: If you are using unsalted butter, please add 1/4 teaspoon salt to this recipe; if you are using salted butter, no need to add more salt.] Mix in flour until blended; it will look like loose sand for a minute, but continue mixing and it will come together into big clumps.
  2. Press into an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish (you can use your fingers or an offset spatula, whatever you prefer). Sprinkle with the coarse sugar to cover dough evenly. Bake for 35 minutes; shortbread should not brown or it is considered over baked.
  3. Remove pan from oven and set on heatproof surface. Cool 10-15 minutes, and then cut cookies into 6 rows vertically and 6 rows horizontally. The edge of a sharp spatula works well for this, or a small knife. Cool completely and store in an airtight container. Cookies can be frozen.
  4. Makes 36 cookies.
  5. For a lovely presentation, serve cookies with another sprig or two of fresh rosemary adorning the plate.


Recipe source: Based on a recipe from a 1970 Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook.

pin this please!If you like this recipe and want to save it, pin the image below to your Pinterest board.

Rosemary Shortbread Recipe on

Do you like rosemary and want more cookie ideas?

Cranberry Rosemary Shortbread on

Cranberry Rosemary Pine Nut Shortbread

Rosemary Rice Krispy TreatsRosemary Rice Krispies Treats

Thanks for visiting…are you hungry for more? Follow Shockingly Delicious on…


…for all the latest recipes, ideas and updates!

This post was first published here Dec. 14, 2018, and has been refreshed and republished today.

This post may contain affiliate/referral links. It is a way for this site to earn advertising fees (at no cost to you) by advertising or linking to certain products and/or services that I approve and prefer.

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Sandra | A Dash of Sanity December 27, 2019 at 10:18 am

This is such an amazing shortbread recipe!


Allyson December 22, 2019 at 9:36 pm

These turned out absolutely fabulous! I’ve been sharing the recipe with everyone, thank you


Dorothy Reinhold January 4, 2020 at 10:53 am

Thanks for letting me know! The simplest ideas are often the best, eh? So glad you loved them!


Beth December 19, 2019 at 12:55 pm

I love idea of adding rosemary to a cookie! Love how easy these are to put together!


Tiffany La Forge-Grau December 19, 2019 at 12:38 pm

I can’t say I’ve ever had rosemary shortbread before! It sound AND looks absolutely savory and delicious though!


Jacque Hooper December 19, 2019 at 11:42 am

What a lovely recipe for the holidays! These will be a hit at our annual Christmas party! Yum!


Dorothy Reinhold December 19, 2019 at 8:10 pm

I guarantee it will be loved!


Vikki December 19, 2019 at 7:31 am

So sweet and simple!


Dorothy Reinhold December 19, 2019 at 9:10 am

That’s EXACTLY it!


Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert December 19, 2019 at 6:18 am

This Rosemary Shortbread is seriously making me hungry!


Julia December 19, 2018 at 5:05 pm

So easy and delicious – Thanks!


Allyson Zea December 18, 2018 at 7:09 pm

WOW! I can’t wait to try this recipe!


Anna December 17, 2018 at 9:14 pm

This shortbread sounds so delicious!


Krista December 17, 2018 at 8:47 am

I love the rosemary flavors! I have to make these!


Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert December 15, 2018 at 9:03 pm

I need to try this immediately, it looks so good!


Dorothy Reinhold December 16, 2018 at 9:23 pm

Turn the oven on and get the butter softening! It’s THAT good!


Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) December 15, 2018 at 11:10 am

I absolutely adore the simplicity of this recipe.


Catalina December 15, 2018 at 9:14 am

This would be a perfect appetizer for our movie nights! Yummy!


Dorothy Reinhold December 15, 2018 at 3:21 pm

They just make people smile!


Dorothy Reinhold December 15, 2018 at 3:21 pm

Sure, you could use them as an appetizer, but please know they are sweet, like a cookie.


Sara December 14, 2018 at 3:09 pm

Perfect for a side dish at a holiday party! Thank you for sharing!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: