Cookies / Lemons / Rosemary / Shortbread

Salted Rosemary & Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Cookie season is the absolute best season of all. This isn’t your most traditional Christmas cookie, but let me tell you! These Salted Rosemary & Lemon Shortbread Cookies are incredibly addicting and buttery and have the perfect amount of lemon.

I’m so excited to be back posting and creating recipes again! Currently preggo with baby #2 and it has been extremely hard. I’m so grateful and excited, but the morning sickness kicked my ass this time around!

 For the first 6.5 months, I couldn’t even stomach water! Saltine crackers were my saving grace. I still feel sick at times but it has gotten more manageable. Nonetheless, I’m so happy to be creating recipes again and back to eating some of the foods I love.

Back to these Salted Rosemary & Lemon Shortbread Cookies. I honestly didn’t think I would enjoy them as much as I do before creating the recipe. It was my second test. The first shortbreads were chocolate chunk and hazelnut. Good, but not great. This combo was purely created out of all rosemary I accidentally ordered. And I’m so happy with how these came out. They have the perfect amount of herbaceous-lemony flavor without taking away that deliciousness of a buttery shortbread. 

Components of a Salted Rosemary & Lemon Shortbread 

  1. The obvious, BUTTER! 
  2. Granulated sugar and brown sugar. I like to use a bit of brown sugar for flavor complexity and color.
  3. A bunch of lemon zest and fresh Rosemary. 
  4. A yolk for some richness.
  5. Salt to bring out the flavors 
  6. And lastly, flour. 

This recipe is very easy, but there is some cooling time involved so the cookies have a chance to firm up before slicing. I like to roll the batter into a log. Doesn’t have to be perfect. I use the remaining egg white and brush it all over the log. This will act as a glue for the demerara sugar that it gets rolled in, giving it that extra sugary-crunch once baked. 

Can I use another type of sugar for coating?

  • Demerara sugar can sometimes be hard to find, but it’s key to creating that sugary-crunch. I always find it in the baking isle at Whole Foods Market. Or Amazon.
  • You can also use turbinado, caster or granulated sugar.

Salted Rosemary & Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Deliciously buttery and salty-sweet. These Salted Rosemary & Lemon Shortbread Cookies deserve a spot in your Christmas cookie box this year!
Prep Time 2 hours
Cook Time 14 minutes
Servings 14
Author Leona G.


  • Sheet Pan
  • Parchment Paper
  • Stand mixer or handheld mixer
  • Serrated knife


  • 1 stick unsalted butter soft, not melted
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar packed
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk reserve the white
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • cups all purpose flour spooned and leveled off
  • demerara sugar for rolling
  • flaky salt for sprinkling


  • In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugars, vanilla, rosemary and lemon zest. About 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy
  • Add in your egg yolk and reserve the white for later. Mix just until combined.
  • lastly, add in the flour and salt and mix util there are no dry pockets left.
  • Dump the dough onto parchment paper or plastic wrap and shape it into a log about 2-2.5 inches thick. Doesn't have to be perfect. Wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours so it can firm up.
  • Once the dough has firmed, preheat your oven to 350° and brush the whole log with remaining egg white and roll in demerara sugar, until the outside is completely coated. Using a serrated knife, slice the cookies ½ inch thick. Place onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and top with salt & lemon zest (optional). Bake for 13-15 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Remove and allow them to cool for at least 20-30 minutes before enjoying.


  • If you don’t have demerara sugar, you can use caster sugar or turbinado sugar. Even granulated sugar. It just wont be as crunchy.
  • Your log doesn’t have to be perfect. I usually get between 14-16 cookies.
  • If you’re not a fan of rosemary, thyme will also work well or just omit and enjoy a delicious lemony shortbread.
  • You can also use a handheld mixer for this recipe.

More Recipes to Try

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Orange & Almond Olive Oil Cake


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