I bought a cute shamrock cookie cutter the other week and was looking for a new cookie recipe to complement it when I stumbled upon My Baking Addiction's write up of a shortbread that incorporated rosemary.  Intriguing!  And the cookie would definitely be stable enough to maintain a cut shape.  Not knowing what to expect when I took a bite of a finished cookie, I was pleasantly surprised by combination of the butteriness of the cookie with the subtle taste of rosemary and even more distant hint of lemon.  I may also have added more rosemary than called for in the recipe in order to ensure I would get a taste with every bite. These cookies were a big hit with my friends that ate them later in the day!  Here's my modified recipe:

Lemon Rosemary Shortbread


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 Tablespoons fresh rosemary, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
Sanding sugar to sprinkle on the top

1. With a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.
2. Add lemon zest, vanilla, and egg and beat until fully incorporated.
3. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl (flour, rosemary, salt).  Add a third of the dry mixture to the stand mixer bowl and incorporate on low speed.  Repeat two more times until all dry ingredients are mixed in the dough.
4. Using a large sheet of parchment paper, transfer the dough to the paper and cover with another sheet of parchment paper.  Roll the dough out to 1/4" thick, place on a cookie sheet, and refrigerate for 30 minutes so that the dough is firm enough to cut shapes.
5. Prepare a plastic container (i.e. tupperware) by lining the bottom with wax paper (this will be to freeze your cut cookie shapes).
6. With your cookie cutter of choice, cut out shapes and place in the plastic container until one layer is complete.  Use the sanding sugar to sprinkle the tops of the cut dough and gently press the sugar to the dough.  Layer another sheet of wax paper over the cut shapes and repeat the process until all of the dough has been cut.
7. Place the lid on the plastic container and freeze the dough for at least 1 hour.  
8. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
9. Take the cut dough out of the freezer and place cookies on a parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet.  Any dough that does not fit on the cookie sheet should be placed back in the freezer until the next baking batch.
10. Bake the cookies until they are golden on the edges, approximately 12-14 minutes.  Start checking at 12 minutes.  (note: the original recipe had the temperature higher and baking time longer, but I ended up with some dark cookies, so I reduced both for better results.)
11. Remove the cookies from the oven and transfer to a wire rack with a spatula to cool.