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Chef John's Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Rated as 5 out of 5 Stars

"While rosemary may seem like a strange addition to at first glance, it works so perfectly in these shortbread cookies that I'd argue they're actually better than the original. There's something so interesting about how the subtle hit of resinous herb works with this sweet, buttery cookie."
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1 h 15 m servings 192
Original recipe yields 16 servings (32 cookies)


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  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place cold butter, sugar, rosemary, salt, and vanilla extract in bowl. Combine with the back of a spatula or spoon, slowly incorporating ingredients together until butter has softened somewhat and ingredients come together.
  3. Pour flour into bowl with butter mixture. Flour your hands to then incorporate flour into the butter, using fingertips and rubbing mixture together until flour-y crumbs become buttery crumbs, 1 to 2 minutes. Press mixture together into a dough ball.
  4. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface. Press dough into a disk, then into a 1/2-inch thick rectangle. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten dough to 1/4-inch thick using a flat pan or rolling pin. Reshape into a rectangle.
  5. Cut dough lengthwise into 5 even strips about 1 inch wide, trimming extra dough if necessary. Cut each strip into 6 evenly sized squares. (You can roll out scraps to form more cookies if necessary). Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle each cookie with about a pinch of sugar. Using a fork, poke 4 rows of holes into each cookie.
  6. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 50 minutes.
  7. Cool cookies 10 minutes on sheet; transfer cookies to rack to cool completely.


  • Cook's Note:
  • The bake time given is just a guide. It depends on the shape and thickness of your cookies, so be sure to start checking them at around 40 to 45 minutes. You can pull them as soon as they turn golden, but that depends on how mild a flavor you want.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 192 calories; 11.5 20.5 1.9 30 122 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 19
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Pro tip 1: Use the best butter you can. I used fancy Irish butter and, since it was salted, withheld the kosher salt. I also beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on low, then beat i...

This recipe is worthy of TEN stars! Absolutely delicious flavor and very tender shortbread. One of the reviewer's suggestions worked well and helped to speed up the process and yet did not compr...

These taste awesome. Just like the good shortbread cookies I buy at the store. I did leave out the rosemary though (I'm not thrilled about the flavor). The only problems I had with this recipe i...

When one becomes a dolt, maybe that was an adult, complexity outweighs sweetness. This was an example.

I made these as a Chritmas gift for my friends at the office and they were a hit. Great texture and the rosemary added wonderful unexpected flavor. I will make these again.

Sublime! Made for hubby's office holiday party and got rave reviews. Followed to the letter. Perfect!

These were great! I'm not a skilled baker, and I panicked a little when I was forming the dough as it was really flaky and not holding together. But as the butter softened, it assumed a more wor...

I did exactly as the recipe called for except I used 1 to 1 gluten free baking flour they still turned out light crisp and floral. SO good.

Thank you Chef John for another fabulous recipe! My friends thought they were too perfect to be homemade and said I should open a bakery! This is our new favorite cookie. I was a bit worried abo...