Cherry Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Recipe by: Willow Bird Baking
Yield: 20-25 cookies

These are tender, buttery shortbread cookies replete with cherries, tangy lemon, and rosemary. Enjoy them hot from the oven and freeze some for baking in a pinch.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves, chopped finely
3/8 cup powdered sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (about the zest from one lemon)
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
about 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and dried rosemary. In a separate large bowl, cream together the butter, lemon zest, and powdered sugar 2-3 minutes or until pale, light, and fluffy. Mix in the lemon juice. Beat in the flour mixture and then stir in the cherries by hand to be sure everything is combined.

Use a sheet of wax paper to roll the dough into a 1 1/2-inch wide log (if you’re having trouble, chill the dough for a bit in the fridge before rolling it). Wrap plastic wrap or foil around the logs and freeze them until firm (you can also double-wrap them and leave them frozen for up to 3 weeks at this point. When you’re ready to bake, just use a serrated knife to cut the cookies and bake as usual. It make take a few minutes longer since they’ll be baking from frozen, but just keep an eye on them.) While they cookies are freezing, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack in the center. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Use a serrated knife to slice each log into 1/4-inch slices and place these about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 8-10 minutes, rotating once halfway through baking. Let the cookies cool for a couple of minutes on the pan before transferring them to a cooling rack to cool completely. In the meantime, melt white chocolate according to package instructions (usually half-power, in small increments, stirring often) and spoon it into a plastic zip-top bag with a tiny corner cut off. Set cookies on wax or parchment paper and squeeze the melted chocolate from the zip-top bag over them in a zig zag design. Let them dry. Store them in an airtight container separated by leaves of parchment or wax paper for up to a week.

11 Comments on Cherry Lemon Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

  1. Dianna
    July 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm (11 years ago)

    I hear ya, girl. I have had quite a few grump-tastic days lately, too. I’ve been trying so hard to remind myself that in the grand scheme of things, I’ve got it pretty good! But when that doesn’t help, a good sulk {and cookies!} definitely help to get me out of my funk. 🙂 I hope this week is filled with positivity and grump-free days!

  2. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar
    July 7, 2013 at 8:18 pm (11 years ago)

    I’m like that sometimes too, and find this hot weather can make me a bit snippier than usual. I really like giving my self a treat on these days and think this recipe is lovely! Yum!

  3. Susan
    July 7, 2013 at 9:30 pm (11 years ago)

    SCORE! I have ALL the ingredients! At over 90º with a humidity that’s also over 90%, it won’t be today but … when the rains come again (hopefully tomorrow!!) and I’m feeling a little less cranky myself (heat does “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad things” things to my mood), these will be just the ticket to CELEBRATE that: (1) the heat has, at LAST, ended; (2) I can once again turn on the oven without fear of melting everything in the house including myself; and (3) I have yet another delectable sweet eat from Willow Bird! BTW … those strawberry cream pies = BOMB-DIGGITY!!! For all the yummy and ah-mazing sweet eats recipes, I thank you from the bottom of my sweet-craving heart!! :o)

  4. Tieghan
    July 8, 2013 at 2:48 am (11 years ago)

    Well at least you have these awesome cookies to brighten your day!! Seriously, they look incredible. I must make them!

  5. Sarah
    July 8, 2013 at 3:00 am (11 years ago)

    Oh man, I know that feeling like the back of my hand – total frustration! Good on you for sticking it out for that long!
    And for these cookies, well done for these too!

  6. Colette
    July 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm (11 years ago)

    Great mix of flavours. Love the rosemary. So interesting.

  7. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes
    July 20, 2013 at 5:39 pm (11 years ago)

    I´m having one of those weeks…not days. I´m blaming it on the winter, but the suns are so wonderfully sunny, I can´t even convince myself. Fun post and sweet sunny cookies Julie!

  8. cathy wanat
    September 4, 2019 at 9:45 pm (5 years ago)

    Hi, I want to try these and I have rosemary oil I have used for focaccia. can I use that instead of the dried leaves? I am baking tomorrow for a meeting in a few days. Thanks, Cathy

    • Julie Ruble
      September 4, 2019 at 10:18 pm (5 years ago)

      Hi Cathy, I’ve never tried this but assume it will change the texture of the cookie (crisper, more brittle) and can’t vouch that it’ll produce the results you want. If you try it, though, please let us know how it goes!

      • cathy wanat
        September 5, 2019 at 4:23 pm (5 years ago)

        Thanks for your reply. I will let you know, but I bought the dried leaves to be sure. could not find sour cherries so I bought sweet dried cherries. maybe i could use a bit less sugar>

        • Julie Ruble
          September 5, 2019 at 5:00 pm (5 years ago)

          Yes, I’m betting that will be perfect!! They’re not too sweet anyway so I think it will be just right, especially if you aren’t too heavy handed with the icing.


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