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Rosemary Butter Cookies

Coating the outsides of the dough with cornmeal or sanding sugar lends a lovely bit of crunch.

  • Yield: Makes about 5 dozen
Rosemary Butter Cookies

Source: Holiday Cookies 2005, Special Issue Holiday 2005


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup fine sanding sugar


  1. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in whole egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, rosemary, and salt, and mix until combined.

  2. Halve dough; shape each half into a log. Place each log on a 12-by-16-inch sheet of parchment. Roll in parchment to 1 1/2 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Transfer to paper-towel tubes to hold shape, and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

  3. Preheat oven to 375. Brush each log with egg white; roll in sanding sugar. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake until edges are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.

Reviews (22)

  • flageolet 20 Mar, 2013

    these were so good and so easy, everyone went crazy over them and i love putting my rosemary garden to work. i plan on making these very often. thank you martha!

  • HelloCarm 28 Feb, 2013

    I just made a batch of these cookies. They are delicate and delicious.

  • fbwerks 13 Nov, 2011

    These cookies are wonderful...sweet with a slight salty crunch with a hint of rosemary...A sweet savory delight , perfect for the holidays

  • LivinginKS 9 Nov, 2011

    What a surprise these cookies are! I've never used rosemary in a cookie, but these are just fantastic! Everyone wanted the recipe...these are so good. Wonderful butter cookie flavor combined with the rosemary and the sweetness of the sugar - just a great combination!

  • Cookie321 13 Apr, 2011

    I made these cookies for a Fat Tuesday celebration and they were a huge hit! I love these delicious and interesting cookies. I will definitely make them again.

    They were relatively easy to make. Very impressive.

  • bmenz 11 Feb, 2011

    I wouldn't have tried these cookies if they hadn't been a Martha Stewart recipe, and I am so glad I did. Everytime I share them, cookie bakers want the recipe. I didn't use the paper towel cardboard, but rolled them in turbinado sugar and wrapped them (using a dough scraper to round the tube) in parchment paper and froze them. Then, the next day I unwrapped them and used the same piece of parchment on the cookie sheet to bake them. Hard to share, because we eat them so fast!

  • minneapolismelissa 30 Dec, 2010

    these are my favorite cookies, hands down. i've made three batches in the last month and i've found that they are burnt by 12 minutes. 10-11 minutes is perfect in my oven.

  • minneapolismelissa 30 Dec, 2010

    these are my favorite cookies, hands down. i've made three batches in the last month and i've found that they are burnt by 12 minutes. 10-11 minutes is perfect in my oven.

  • jbean32 24 Dec, 2010

    Whoa! These were so amazing!!!! I can't let a recipe remain untweaked...I doubled the recipe...added the zest of 1 orange...and vanilla...I baked the second batch at 350 just to keep the bottoms from becoming too brown...definitely use the cardboard tube to store the dough...I had tons leftover from my christmas wrapping...I made the dough up a couple of days in advance and just froze in the tube..I let the dough tube warm up just a touch before coating in the sugar and slicing..

  • BewitchedGal 12 Nov, 2010

    These are so good, go perfect with a cup of tea. Not too sweet and very tasty.

  • lilcooky81 31 Oct, 2010

    These are DELICIOUS!!! I love the savory, salty combination. Very addictive and definitely one of my favorite cookies ever!

  • creativegirl15 22 Nov, 2009

    Yummy cookies!! Warning: they are very salty because of the coarse salt. And use the paper towl roll tip.

  • JacqJacq 14 Nov, 2009

    I make these all the time and they are great!! Everyone loves them!!

  • Angelspacc 27 Aug, 2009

    What an elegant and impressive cookie. In the dough I also put some lemon zest, makes a nice taste. I freeze the dough in a paper towl tube and slice and bake as needed.

  • Angelspacc 27 Aug, 2009

    Love this cookie recipe. So elegant and impressive. In the dough I also added some lemon zest, a real nice touch. I freeze the dough inside a paper towel tube and slice and use as needed.

  • nanopia 10 Feb, 2009

    I've never made Rosemary in anything sweet and I'm glad I took the plunge. The cookies are crisp and sweet. Extremely fragrant and addictive!

  • grazianolinda 29 Dec, 2008

    This is my favorite cookie for this holiday season. The flavor is so fresh and unexpected. Excellent with lemon tea. Take care to store separate from other cookies, as their flavor and aroma will be absorbed by other cookies.

  • cookingmylife 20 Dec, 2008

    I am curious as to why these call for an egg where most basic refrigerator slice and bake cookies do not. I made them and they are good...subtle flavor.

  • jatar 18 Dec, 2008

    These cookies are terribly delicious! I made the dough and baked them about three days later (so they chilled for quite some time) and the colder/harder the dough is, the easier it is to cut it cleanly keeping the sugar on it. I baked mine for 14 minutes and they were perfect. Take a bite, and they crumble in your mouth. Amazing rosemary taste, and perfect with the sugar crunch (I used turbanado sugar.)

  • ARLENEB 13 Dec, 2008

    I use a lot of rosemary in my cooking but to put it in a cookie is marvelous.
    I made a batch

  • cindyccm 9 Dec, 2008

    I love rosemary in sweet things, the contrast is yummy! I am going to make these for a Christmas cookie party and use colored sugar.

  • majoan 30 Nov, 2008

    I just can't wait to make these. I have an abundance of roasemary growing in my yard and this is a new way for me to use it. I would have never thought to make cookies. Thanks

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