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Rosemary shortbread biscuits recipe

Rosemary shortbread biscuits recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Biscuits and cookies
  • Savoury biscuits

A very Victorian recipe! Some people are put off by the notion of herb cookies, but you'll be pleasantly surprised. The flavour improves with age (best 2 days after), keeping for about a week.

142 people made this

IngredientsServes: 36

  • 340g unsalted butter
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar for decoration

MethodPrep:1hr20min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:1hr35min

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and 125g of sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, salt and rosemary until well blended. The dough will be somewhat soft. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190 C / Gas 5. Line baking trays with parchment.
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 6mm thickness. Cut into rectangles 3x5cm in size. Place biscuits 2.5cm apart on the lined baking trays. Sprinkle the remaining sugar over the tops.
  4. Bake for 8 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden at the edges. Cool on wire racks, and store in an airtight container at room temperature.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(166)

Reviews in English (136)

Absolutely delicious. Very easy to make and a huge hit with my friends and family. I will definitely be making these again... They make fantastic gifts too!!!-14 Dec 2012

by Paige

I have had a favorite cookie recipe since I was a child, but yesterday me and my girls made these cookies and that once favorite cookie has been replaced by these cookies. My best tip is DO NOT OVERBAKE. Don't wait for the edges to get too brown. We liked them on the much paler side. So beautiful, unique, and if you love rosemary and shortbread, so perfect!!!! I made another kind of cookie after this and though I am sure the cookie was absolutely fab it greatly paled in comparison to these. It is refreshing to try something different and these are a pleaser! Do not change the recipe at all because it is perfect. Although I must confess, over time, I would like to expirement with a few other herbs. A good cookie if you want to impress or have friends for a tea party. I felt like the workds best cookie maker when I made these! Approved by kids dads grandpas and moms and soon to be grandmas I am sure. Something I notice with these that was unlike cookies I have had in the past, I could taste each seperate taste individually-butter, salt, rosemary and a some sugar sweetness, and then I could taste them together at the same time. That, to me, was kind of interesting. Also they are very rich! I can eat cookies,believe me, but I can only eat 1 or 2 of these at a time, and trust me, that's fine. Like good dark chocolate, just a little is enough to satisfy because the quality is so good. I got 48 round cookie from this batch.-19 Sep 2006

by Dani D.

The only thing I changed about this recipe was the prep before it went into the oven. I hand rolled small balls of dough (about 1 T each) and slightly flattened them into 1/4 inch thick discs on the baking sheets, then popped them in the fridge for about 30 minutes. With a butter-heavy dough like this, I knew that the dough would have to be very chilled and firm before being cooked so they would maintain their shape and not flatten out - good shortbread is thick and flaky! Everyone LOVED these cookies and I will be making them again.-24 Aug 2007

Rosemary shortbread biscuits recipe - Recipes

These cookies sound amazing. I will definitely give them a shot sometime next week. Tell me that you did not shave your knuckles for the making of this video. We love Chef John just like he is, in all of his hairy glory!

Hey Chef John,
Just wanted to say g'day from New Zealand! I've just tried your Rosemary shortbread and they are scrumptious! The only difference between mine and yours is that mine weren't as evenly sized! I love your food blog and have learnt heaps over the last three years! Thank you & cheers, Rani

Chef John.. You've done it again! I've made these before watching a movie with my girlfriend and boy was she impressed!! (We both were!). I wasn't sure how the rosemary was going to work, so I used 1.5 tbsp rather than 2, but they were amazing! (Next time I will go for 2 tbsp). My girlfriend actually said "these are the best home-made cookies I have ever had". You do say you're not a cookie guy and we don't see many dessert recipes but please make more.

Greetings from New Zealand! I made your cookies yesterday and they tasted great but were quite crunchy. i thought they'd be more like short bread? Also any chance you can add a button so I can have your cooking measurements in the metric system? I love your work Chef John!

I would be happy to put a button for metric on the recipes, as soon you figure out who is going to do all the work converting the numbers. )

One tip from my Scottish GGG-Grandmother: Cook shortbread on a brown paper bag, not a cookie sheet. The paper absorbs excess butter and they turn out amazing!

Tried these yesterday and they are so good!
I'm in Christchurch New Zealand, and at 300F they seemed to only take 25 mins to cook, but are delicious. You are totally right about leaving them in to turn slightly darker brown, the butter does make them really nutty.
Thanks again :)

Is there a way to carmelized sweet cream and chocolate? so that it won't melt in your hands?

I've made these biscuits twice now. Nobody can stop eating them. Including me. And I don't even fancy rosemary. Cheers Chef John.

Hi Chef John, these cookies were a big hit at my friend's birthday party! I'm trying to make second attempt but now im out of butter.. Would it work with margerines instead of butter?

NOOOOOOOO! Sorry, no.
Never use margarine for anything!

Hi Chef John,
I am very eager to try this recipe. I really enjoy combining what would be considered odd foods and ingredients together for extraordinary flavors. I recently got a hold of a large amount of fresh organic rosemary but had to dry it because I wanted to preserve it for later use. Can you use dry rosemary in these cookies and if so what amount and how finely minced should it be?

Hi Chef John, i have a question about the rosemary, the thing is have two stages of rosemery in my posession, fist one that is very dry, the leaves almost break when i move them and easily fall of the stem, and second some rosemary that is nearly fresh, it is a bit dry but not too much, which should i use?? or is it better to wait till the semi-fresh dries up a little??

Sorry if you don't understand something, english isn't my native language

You want to use the freshest rosemary you can!

I made these again and served them warm from the oven with jam. Spectacular. Thank you Chef John.

I'm made these several times since the recipe has been posted :S they are very good and turn out just like the video! Our favorite way is to make half the recipe, and press it into a tart pan. Bake, cool and top with fresh fruit and whipped cream or custard! If you bake them golden like chef johns they are perfect, if you underbake them they taste kind of like chapstick.

Hi Chef John. I have made these three times.. They are the best cookie I have ever made or tasted. Once I browned the butter for a different recipe but couldn't make it because I was out of a vital ingredient. So I used it in the shortbread recipee. It was good too. Thank you for all your entertaining videos and great recipees. Your name with recipe title is my first google search for a recipe no matter what I'm looking for!

I followed your recipe and the cookies are in the oven RIGHT NOW! I've had very good rosemary cookies before, but I have a feeling these will be even better. Thanks for the video!

I have made these twice and my cookie dough seems to be dry. They still taste great but I don't know what I am doing wrong. Should I add more butter or cut back on flour?

@RaniMcCann and @ChefJohn - not to kick anyone off Food Wishes, but.
in cases like this, you could use the (kind of hard to find) metric button on the
Allrecipes' version of this recipe:
Click on the little pie icon next to the number of servings, and you can change the measurements to metric.
Now, if only we could convert the U.S. measurements from volume to weight!

I start trying your recipes after I tried your pizza dough one time and it was amazing and to tell you the truth every recipe I followed was a real success so I thank you very much for your hard work and I totally appreciate it.
A very kind request if you don't mind,if you can put a recipe for a chicken taquitos that would be very kind of you.
Thanks in advance,

I like the flavor of Rosemary a lot and these are incredible shortbread cookies. Now I want to make the recipe substituting Lavender for the Rosemary. Thank you for these videos, my cooking techniques have improved from watching you and implementing your words of wisdom.

Didn't have fresh rosemary so. used Cointreau, cinnamon & all spice (Xmas flavours). Lovely

What if you extracted the rosemary lights by infusing some leaves in the vanilla? Would that be a doable thing? Maybe it would eliminate some of the bitter alkaloids from the leaves. Just wondering. Think Yew.

These are coming out crumbly? If I’m lucky enough to get the square cookie over to the sheet poking them with a fork splits them apart. How do yours look to easily held together? Maybe reduce the flour/add butter? Help. They come out great at taste amazing but it’s just a chore when it’s not sticking together. Thanks!

Best cookies I've ever eaten!

I just made these cookies today. Holy Rosemary Batman . I ate 6 of them right off the bat !! Sooo good - a new staple in my kitchen! I can't wait to share these with my friends! Thank you Chef . :-)

I do not know the difference between finely chopped and minced. Any help? With the price of butter I Want to get these right the first time.

Rosemary and Lemon Shortbread Biscuits

What have you kept yourself busy with during your stay-at-home? I found myself baking more than usual and also watching a few online baking tutorials over on Instagram stories which has given rise to a few old-fashioned bakes that we have enjoyed. And while we munched our way through some sweet stuff, we also stayed caffeinated with our favorite beverages during these challenging times. For now, spending time in our favorite cafes catching up with friends seems a long way off. Although you can easily get takeaways, I’ve never particularly enjoyed drinking coffee that way, much prefer buying the beans and making coffee at home.

So just in case you still have the urge to bake some more… thought I’d share a recipe for these lovely rosemary and lemon shortbread biscuits. If you can’t find fresh rosemary or don’t have any in your garden just leave it out and add extra lemon zest. This shortbread recipe is from one of Bread Ahead’s online Instagram Stories tutorial classes. What inspired me to make theses shortbread biscuits was the flavor combination of rosemary and lemon.

You also might like to have a look at other shortbread biscuits on this blog, I also bake on occasions, shortbread with fennel and lemon, vanilla shortbread or these bee embossed shortbread biscuits. Which ever one you decide to bake…do enjoy with your favorite cuppa. Stay safe.

Rosemary and Lemon Shortbread

200g all-purpose flour
100g fine ground semolina
100g caster sugar
200g un-salted butter, slightly softened and cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
zest of half a lemon
You will need a baking tray lined with non-stick baking parchment.

How to make:

Place the flour, semolina and caster sugar into a mixing bowl, stir ingredients together, Add in the butter. Using the tips of your fingers, rub the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add in the rosemary and lemon zest, squeeze all ingredients together until mixture forms a dough.

On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to a thickness of ½ cm. Stamp out rounds with a metal cutter and place biscuits evenly spaced onto a prepared baking tray. Gather the remaining dough together, re-roll and cut. If the dough becomes too soft, place in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up. Place tray of unbaked biscuits into the fridge for one hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 325°F/170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3. Bake the biscuits for about 22 to 24 minutes. Cool the baked biscuits on the baking tray for a few minutes before transferring onto a wire cooling rack. Store biscuits in an airtight container.

What is Earl Grey flavor?

Earl grey is a very floral variety of black tea with hints of citrus, such as lemon or grapefruit.

When I smell it, I get a distinct hint of lavender.

Bergamot is the primary ingredient in earl gray tea, which is a type of citrus. But you will also see and taste some variation based on the specific brand you are using.

In the cookie, it adds a subtle earthy and floral taste. If you want to amp up the tea flavor, increase the quantity of leaves to 2 Tablespoons.

Related Video

This is my favorite shortbread recipe. It's really good with lemon zest added, too.

I first made these in 1994 then found my old Gourmet and made them again for my wedding in 2005. They are delicate and delicious. I've lost my Gourmet--and am so happy to have the recipe here on epicurious.

Fantastic! I make them just as the recipe is written. They are the most popular cookie on my annual Christmas tray (of 20 or so types of cookies). I dream of these!

These were beautiful! Lightly crumbly and superbly fragrant. I used 1/8th C of sugar and it was just fine. Will triple the recipe next time!

Yummy! The scent these give off will make you swoon. It was like home therapy. Just heavenly. I had a little trouble with the scoring and cutting part, so next time I will roll out the dough and shape with a cookie cutter. I would also check these after baking for 17 minutes or so. They turned beyond golden at 20.

Amazing. Addicting. Awesome. I actually reviewed this before, with a 4-fork rating, but realized now that I've been making it wrong. I recommended cutting the sugar in half to 1/8 cup, but didn't realize that the recipe calls for powdered sugar. So, after many times of using 1/8 cup regular sugar, I finally tried it with 1/4 cup powdered sugar. I do have to say, I like the texture of 1/8c regular sugar better. This is pretty much a weekly recipe for me, so if you make it as often, try it with the regular sugar next time (just cut the quantity in half). One of my favorite recipes!

Perfect, just as everyone says! I didn't knead the dough, like the person below, and it was a bit crumbly but still wonderful and delicious. 4 forks, hands down!

Absolutely quite literally perfect. My favorite counter at the farmer's mkt here in Nashville used to serve pretty little rosemary shortbread squares, and I've been dying to replicate. done and done! Wanted to make it according to directions the first time, but next time maybe I'll add a little black pepper. So perfect.

This is THE shortbread recipe. I am giving it 4 stars with no modifications to the recipe. Better make a double batch.

De-lish! Five drops of sweet orange oil (would have used grated orange rind if I had some) were a fortuitous addition. I will definitely make this again for a more interesting occasion than after a few hours of gardening.

Lovely, unusual, and easy. I made this in a panic, because we were going to a party in 90 minutes, and it came out beautifully. It goes from "golden" to "brown" quickly, though, so watch the baking time.

Wow, forgot to mention - got this idea from a catering company I work for - thank you Cloud Nine. Now, if I can just find the recipe for mango cream cheese to put on pumpkin bread!

I made these in a square pan (8 or 9 inch, who knows!) and cut them in 1 inch squares, top with 1 inch of Feta cheese and a slice of cherry tomato on top - served as an appetizer. Just wonderful - different and everyone loved them.

I made this recipe for christmas last year, and everyone loved it. I just made it again today and we can't wait until dessert time! It's delicious.

This is very tasty and different. Mine got a little overdone, which I figured was just my oven, but upon reading other reviews, I guess I'm not alone. Next time I will reduce the baking time. As for reducing the sugar to serve it with cheese, I think you could serve it with cheese as is and it would be awesome. I can definitely imagine it paired with a wedge of cheddar and some good wine.

This almost burned after 20 minutes. VERY crumbly and impossible to knead. I added a little more butter mixed with flour at the end. It tastes good out of the oven but like I said, after 20 minutes it is dark golden and on the verge of inedible. Watch it closely

As a reviewer of the other rosemary shortbread recipe on this site suggested. it could be wonderful with thyme too, I agree and I think you can experiment with the herbs in your own garden! lavender would fit in very well too!

Instead of baking it in a pan and cut into wedges like shortbread.. I used a cookie stamp instead and it worked out fine. Very pretty individual cookie with a heart shape motif. Very interesting taste.. very adult taste. Would make another lot tomorrow.

This recipe proved to be a great success for me too. I was running short on time so I pressed the mixture into the buttered pie plate directly rather than kneading it, as per the earlier review. It worked really well. They go very well with Earl Grey tea, I found. I was thinking of making this recipe with less sugar to serve with cheese. Any thoughts on that?

Definitely sophisticated, complex, and fragrant! People probably will either love or hate them. Very buttery. Even with unsalted butter, I would reduce the salt to 1/4 t. I also would increase the sweetness just slightly. As for making them, after combining all the ingredients, I was left with crumbs that did not stick together. Trying to form a dough on the cutting board was hopeless. Instead, I ended up pouring the crumbs into the pan and pressing them down until firm. That worked perfectly, and frankly, was easier than kneading a dough. It also circumvented the overworked-dough problem. But scoring that crumbly, pressed dough and decorating the edges did not work. After baking, the (3mm high) shortbread had the perfect texture, held together, and cut easily without crumbling.

What a wonderful flavour! Excellent shortbread recipe, the combination of the buttery taste with the rosemary is extraordinary.

Excellent flavor. I didn't have any unsalted butter, so I used regular and omitted the 1/2 t. salt. They came out great, if a little flat.

A good one, all hands liked these. Most often said coment"MAKE MORE"

Savory Parmesan Rosemary Shortbread

Savory parmesan rosemary shortbread is tender, buttery, and exploding with cheesy herb flavor.

Fresh rosemary, parmesan cheese and loads of fresh cracked black pepper make this the perfect cocktail appetizer or just as a snack. We couldn’t keep our hands out of the jar, even if we weren’t holding a cocktail in the other hand.

Savory Parmesan Rosemary Shortbread

Unfortunately, this shortbread is super easy to prepare.

Beat the room temperature butter until creamy.

Add the parmesan cheese, flour, salt, rosemary, and pepper.

Beat until it comes together into a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (a few loose crumbs remain)

Turn the dough out onto a large sheet of plastic wrap, knead it a few times until smooth ball forms without any major cracks.

Roll the dough into a 10″ log and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Freeze for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate for several hours.

We refrigerate overnight, the flavor is much better.

I have probably said this before but I can’t cut a straight line or roll anything into a perfectly beautiful circle. So be better than me.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Remove from the fridge and slice into 1/4″ – 1/2″ rounds.

Bake for 16 to 22 minutes, or until firm and golden brown. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Baking time will depend on the thickness of the rounds.

This savory shortbread just melts in your mouth. Highly addictive, you’ve been warned!

Parmesan & Rosemary Shortbread

These savoury shortbread biscuits are packed full of flavour, making them a delicious nibble to serve with festive drinks.


  • 125g butter, at room temperature
  • 180g plain flour
  • Generous pinch of sea salt flakes (or regular salt)
  • 100g Parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 egg yolk


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Line two baking sheets with non-stick baking parchment.
  2. Put the butter into a large mixing bowl and beat it with a wooden spoon to soften it. Add the flour, salt, Parmesan, rosemary and egg yolk. Work them in with the wooden spoon.
  3. Gather the dough together with your hands and knead lightly for a few moments until smooth – though take care not to over-handle as you don’t want to warm the dough.
  4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to approximately 6-7mm thick. Use star-shaped cutters to stamp out approximately 28 biscuits. Arrange on the baking sheets, prick with a fork, and bake for 12-15 minutes until light golden-brown.
  5. Cool on the baking sheets, then transfer to an airtight tin to keep for up to one week, or pack into a freezer-safe box and freeze for up to 2 months.

Tips: You’ll get the best flavour if you use freshly grated Parmesan. Try using finely chopped thyme instead of rosemary.

  • 150g/5½oz plain flour
  • 75g/2¾oz Parmesan (or similar vegetarian hard cheese), grated
  • 100g/3½oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 free-range egg yolk

Mix all the ingredients together – using bowl and spoon, electric mixer or food processor as wished – until a golden dough begins to form a clump.

Turn it out onto a surface and knead for about 30 seconds until smooth, then divide into two.

Take the first half and, using your hands, roll it into a cylinder, as uniform as possible without stressing over it, about 3cm/1¼in diameter. Make sure the ends are flat, too, so that the cylinder resembles a roll of coins. Now wrap this up in a piece of cling film, twisting the cling film at the ends, like a Christmas cracker, and put the roll in the fridge, then proceed in the same way with the remaining half of the dough.

Preheat the oven to 180C/375F/Gas 4 while the dough rests in the fridge for about 45 minutes, by which time you should be able to cut them into thick slices easily aim for about 1cm, think fat pound coins or similar.

Arrange on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and put in the oven for 15-20 minutes, when they should be just beginning to turn a pale gold at the edges.

Remove from the oven, then leave to cool (if you can) before eating.

Recipe Tips

These can be made ahead to the end of step 3 and kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in a double layer of clingfilm and a layer of foil, for up to 3 months (defrost overnight in the fridge). Bake as directed in the recipe. Sliced dough can also be frozen on parchment-lined baking sheets until solid, then transferred to plastic bags and kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. Bake from frozen as directed in the recipe. Baked shortbreads will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Pillsbury is a very great company that makes pre-made dough so when you want a yummy fresh hot bun or biscuit they’ve got you covered, all you have to do is pop them in the oven and presto they are ready to eat. I’ve always wanted to make this recipe because we use Pillsbury dough a lot and when I made it I thought it was so good. Whamo now it is on my blog!

It only takes 20 minutes: 4 minutes of prepping and 16 minutes of cooking, so you have enough time to make dinner, lunch or breakfast. We love having rosemary biscuits with steak or salad, it is so delicious. Also, sometimes I am too lazy to make breakfast so I just eat some leftover Pillsbury biscuits and call it breakfast for the day.

I recommend serving these biscuits like they are garlic bread or a mini-roll side dish, but if you want you can serve them as a main dish by wrapping them in mini hot dogs or sausages.

Rosemary Shortbread

It was one of those Thursday afternoons – the Thursday you have when you really don’t want to go to work tomorrow but know that you have to. The sort of Thursday that knows it should be Friday.

That’s when this recipe turned up in my blog feed. My friend Sammie from The Annoyed Thyroid had posted it. She said she’d made it about 10 times in as many days. Rosemary and Shortbread – two words that sounded like they belong together…how could these two words fail to make a manky day better?

Not only do these make a Thursday afternoon feel a tad more like a Friday afternoon, but they fill the house with the scent of rosemary – actually, better than that, rosemary scented butter biscuits.

These are super quick to make too – just 30 minutes from start to finish, and that includes the washing up. In fact, the most time-consuming part of the whole deal is waiting for the butter to soften and the chopping finely of the rosemary – which I do with the mezzaluna…what can I say, I’m lazy. Oh, and the time it took to shake all the ants off the rosemary.

Okay, the recipe… and I haven’t changed this at all from Sammie’s version. It has exactly the right amount of rosemary, so don’t even think about changing it.

my rosemary bush