Rosemary Butter Cookies from Heaven

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If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s fakeness. Hate me, ignore me, laugh at me, whatever – as long as you’re being honest and you mean it. Just please, if you have any heart, don’t put on for me.

Are you looking for a butter cookie with a twist? Try this version made with freshly chopped rosemary. Get the recipe on Foodal today!

Don’t tell me you like A when you hate A. Don’t tell me you do B when you don’t. Just, for heaven’s sake, be real. That’s it, that’s all I ask.

The thing is, being authentic, and always acting with sincerity, is harder than it sounds.

Take work, for example:

Do I always want to go to work in the morning? No, of course not. Sometimes my bed feels positively warm and wonderful and all I want is to stay in it a bit longer. I’ll still go to work, though.

And when I do go to work, I can’t very well announce to every person I see, “Just so you know, I’m pretty tired and cranky this morning, so I don’t want to be here.”

So here I am, hypocrite and hypocrite-hater, wishing for the very thing in other people that I am in want of, wishing for people to be more real, in some sense of the word, without necessarily being open and honest about everything.

Close up of fresh rosemary leaves on top of a pile of butter cookies | Foodal

You may not think it at first, but this is kind of what I’m starting to like about rosemary, or really, food in general. It’s both honest and dishonest. It’s exactly as it seems and then, suddenly, not what you thought it was at all.

All my life, rosemary has been one thing – a woody, fragrant herb that works nicely in focaccia or marinades or with potatoes.

Certainly not with fish, No, thank you. Certainly not with cakes or pie. And honestly, I’m sure I would have told you: Certainly not in cookies.

Now, I’d reason that lavender in a cookie is a far more reasonable ingredient. It’s floral, subtle, and a lovely addition to a dainty dessert.

But rosemary is a funny herb. With its pointy needles, extending from stems and deepening from green to purple in color, its branches look a little like tiny Christmas trees.

Rosemary can be used to flavor more than just meats, poultry, and other savory dishes. Have you ever tried it in butter cookies? Well, now here's your chance with this flavorful recipe found on Foodal!

And the smell – it’s so powerful, so knock-you-over strong, that it’s positively arresting.

In many ways, rosemary’s also something of a surprise, because it’s primed for many uses that are far from ordinary. I just found a recipe for buttermilk and rosemary ice cream, for example. But is this appetizing?

Before you say no, ask yourself: Could it be interesting? Could it be different? Could it be delicious?

Without trying it, you just won’t know. And that, essentially, is why you need to try this recipe for rosemary cookies, of all things. Who would’ve thought to put a strong and typically savory herb into a sable-style cookie? (Well, Martha Stewart, who else?)

An individual sugar cookie being held by human fingers | Foodal

These cookies are fantastic. No, better than that, they’re outstanding! No, near perfection!

What they do especially well, beyond the sheer pleasure of their texture and perfect crunch as you bite in, is a subtle combination of both sweet and salty flavor.

The recipe’s coarse salt works with the rosemary to make these sweet, sugary cookies savory. And oh, are they ever! Try them. It’s enough to make a food adventurer out of all of us.

These aren’t the prettiest baked goods in the world, but they sure are tasty!

The recipe is slightly adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies.

Martha Stewart’s Cookies available in Paperback and Kindle from Amazon

The Recipe

Are you looking for a butter cookie with a twist? Try this version made with freshly chopped rosemary. Get the recipe on Foodal today!
Rosemary Butter Cookies
Votes: 9
Rating: 4.22
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Coarse salt combined with the fragrance of rosemary or the ultimate savory cookie.
Servings Prep Time
90 cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 miniutes 2 hours
Servings Prep Time
90 cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 miniutes 2 hours
Are you looking for a butter cookie with a twist? Try this version made with freshly chopped rosemary. Get the recipe on Foodal today!
Rosemary Butter Cookies
Votes: 9
Rating: 4.22
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Coarse salt combined with the fragrance of rosemary or the ultimate savory cookie.
Servings Prep Time
90 cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 miniutes 2 hours
Servings Prep Time
90 cookies 20 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
20 miniutes 2 hours
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated Sugar
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour sifted
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt (Kosher works well)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup fine granulated sugar for dusting
Servings: cookies
  1. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in whole egg and vanilla.
  2. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, rosemary, and salt, and mix until combined.
  3. Halve dough; shape each half into a log. Place each log on a 12x16-inch sheet of parchment paper. Roll on the parchment to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Freeze until firm, about an hour or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Brush each piece with beaten egg white; roll in sugar (optional).
  5. Space each cookie about an inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment (or a Silpat! I love mine!).
  6. Bake until edges are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets on wire racks. Cookies may be stored in airtight containers at room temperature for up to three days.

Nutritional Information*

Nutrition Facts
Rosemary Butter Cookies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 51 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.001g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.002g
Cholesterol 6mg 2%
Sodium 22mg 1%
Potassium 1mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 7g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0.2g 1%
Sugars 2g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 0.1%
Iron 1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep

Gather all of your ingredients into one place and create your mise en place.

Top down view of the ingredients or mise en place to create the rosemary butter cookies | Foodal

Chop your rosemary leaves into fairly fine pieces. Note that you’ll want to remove the stems.

Step 2 – Mix the Ingredients

First, add the butter and and sugar into the bowl of a good quality stand mixer. Beat for several minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy and then add the whole egg and vanilla.

Top down view of the butter and sugar being whipped together by the Cuisinart SM-55 Stand Mixer | Foodal
For this recipe, I’m using the Cuisinart SM-55, one of our favorite stand mixer models.

Turn the machine down to low and add the flour, rosemary, and salt. Mix to combine the ingredients.

Step 3 – Shape and Freeze

Remove the dough from the mixer and split it into two parts. Shape each into a log just under 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Two logs of rosemary butter cookie dough on parchment paper | Foodal

Wrap each log in parchment paper and freeze it until it is solid, for about an hour or so.

Step 4 – Cut and Bake

Preheat your oven to 375°F.

Remove the frozen logs from the parchment paper and use a good quality chef’s knife to cut into thinnish slices, about 45 equally sized pieces per log.

A japanese chef's knife being used to cut up the cookie dough logs | Foodal
This blade is one of my favorite kitchen tools, a gyuto made by Misono. Also known as a guytou, this is a type of Japanese kitchen knife, equivalent to a Western chef’s knife.

At this point you can lightly brush on the beaten egg white and coat the cookies with a little extra granulated sugar, but this is completely optional.

Chopped frozen cookie dough being coated with egg white and extra granulated sugar | Foodal

Place the cookies on parchment lined cookie sheets or use Silpat liners (I love these!). This recipe will fill about three one-half sheet sized baking sheets.

Top view of slices of cookie dough on a Silpat liner on a cookie sheet | Foodal

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the baking sheet(s) and place on a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes.

Bake rosemary butter cookies resting on a double stacked cooking rack | Foodal

You’ll end up with about 90 crunchy and wonderfully flavored treats that everybody, and I mean everybody, will love.

A white ceramic bowl with rosemary butter cookies with fresh rosemary leaves on top | Foodal

Note: I do eat other things besides cookies, I assure you, not that you could tell from my blogging this week. Mom, if you’re reading…

I’m okay!

It’s just that I really, really love cookies and find it easy to write about them. I didn’t think you’d mind. One bite of these beauties, and you’ll be a cookie convert, too.

And be sure to check out these other tasty rosemary infused recipes:

What about you? Do you have any favorite recipes that use rosemary or other aromatics in an unorthodox manner? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Don’t forget to Pin It!

Do you love the savory sensation of rosemary? Ever thought of including it in a sweet cookie? Now is your chance with this delectable recipe that will surprise your tastebuds! Get the recipe now on Foodal.

Photos by Mike Quinn unless otherwise noted, © Foodal / Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published September 3rd, 2008 by Shanna Mallon. Revised and updated December 10th, 2017, with additional writing by Mike Quinn.

*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home,, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

31 thoughts on “Rosemary Butter Cookies from Heaven”

  1. Or maybe I’ll try these for book club? Hmm.

    Oh, my chicken marinate came out not the best. I’ve been on this kick of using alcohol in cooking lately. And I marinated the chicken in a Mike’s Hard Lemonade. The lemon favor was weak and the sugar or something didn’t do much for me. But it’s still edible. I’ll keep trying different things.

  2. Wow, what an interesting recipe. I love it when unsual ingredients give amazing results like that. I recently cooked with lavender – also with good results – in a panna cotta with rhubarb and strawberry coulis. A very subtle flavour but very good. Will post the recipe on my blog some time and in the meantime will have a go at the cookies.

  3. Enough said: I’m going downstairs to take butter from the freezer. By the time I’m done with my afternoon’s work, it should be soft. My rosemary out front is flourishing and there’s not much nicer than cooking with something you grew yourself. I’ll be sure to give you a report … 🙂

  4. what a great post. i agree with you, i hate hypocrites and yet, sometimes i am one too. anyway, the cookies look great. i’ve been thinking alot lately about using herbs in normally sweet treats. i recently added thyme to some polenta cookies (the polenta cookies were martha’s creations but the thyme was my addition) and they turned out nicely. i haven’t played with rosemary much, but i just might soon.

  5. Rachel: Lovely, indeed!

    Nealy: Maybe make both! 🙂 I actually did bring the NT Times choc-chips and these to a party Saturday night. Will it sound over-the-top when I tell you people gasped when I opened the lid? Big crowd-pleasers.

    Tony M: I recently realized we have lavender bushes in our backyard, so I’ve been wishing for a good way to use them. I’ll head over to your blog right now!

    Kelley: Fresh rosemary!? I’m green with envy!

    Lan: Thank you, Lan! That polenta/thyme creation has been intrigued. I’m headed to your blog next and hope to find it there!

  6. Rosemary is definitely one of the great “re-introductions” I’ve experienced in the past year – never would have thought to include it in desserts but it’s such a fantastic addition. I’d love to try these cookies, especially with those sugared edges 🙂

  7. LifeinRecipes: Ooh, that sounds just like another cookie I just read about from a commenter. Sounds yummy!

    PaniniKathy: I know! It’s so surprising, but perfect! Enjoy!

    Amy: Thanks, Amy!

    Elizabeth: I’m near obsessed now, too. 🙂

  8. Kelley: LOL, definitely something I would do. In fact, full disclosure, something I did do with the chocolate-chip cookies. Burned a whole six of them. Glad you liked these, though! I bet the fresh rosemary from your garden made them even better.

  9. Holy Cow! I made these the other night. Holy Cow! It is a keeper. They impressed many people. I think I ate half of them. I was calling them Rosemary Shortbread cookies.

  10. So, I did make this for book club, and I was so proud of myself that they came out so well. And they were quite the hit—these and a quiche another girl made. What a yummy night!!

  11. Yeah! There are few things I love more than a recipe that delivers. Glad you all enjoyed them (and I’d love to know what you’re all reading, and, of course, what kind of quiche it was).

  12. I make those all the time from an old Martha magazine. Once people get a taste, I usually have to head back to the kitchen to make more. LOVE them!

  13. (it occurred to me that you wouldn’t see my reply…)

    They really were amazing cookies! I’ve already been asked to make them as his Christmas gift. XD

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. 🙂

  14. Great Recipe. Am I the only one who got burnt cookies? I took them out at 15 minutes and they were smoking an brown/black. My oven thermometer read 360….Well, at any rate, it works much better for me at 350 for 10-12 minutes.

  15. I am sorry to hear that, Matt, but glad you figured out a temp/time that got your cookies baking right. This recipe is lightly adapted from Martha Stewart, so I can’t take much credit for the baking times suggested; however, I know from experience different ovens always are different. Happy holidays!

  16. I have never baked before. When it says 3/4 cup and 1/2 cups of sugar and you can use granulated for both. Do you do both of the cups or just one?


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