I finally threw a tea party! It had been ages since I hosted a get together with my friends, and a sunny tea party was a lovely excuse. I had a group of about eight ladies over to the house. I asked that each guest bring their favorite tea and treat to share. What a delightful gathering to prepare for- filled with pretty dishes, utensils, linens, and of course, quaint arrangements of fresh flowers. Also, as a gracious hostess, I knew it was my duty (and pleasure) to wrap up a few bundles of my favorite treat, for my chums to take home. A new favorite cookie of mine combines the earthy spice of Rosemary, and the chipper tanginess of lemon. It’s a very simple shortbread cookie, known to have different notes of flavor that are especially good paired with teas.

• 4 Sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 ¼ Cup Sugar
• 4 Cups all purpose flour
• Zest of 1 Lemon, grated
• 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
• 1 Teaspoon Almond or Vanilla Extract
• 4 tablespoons finely chopped Rosemary (fresh from your garden would be great!)
• 1 Cup (or so) of additional flour for kneading and rolling the dough

The first thing that I tend to underestimate (and under plan) the importance of, is to set your butter out to soften, at room temperature. I’ve definitely done my share of microwaving, or hard whisking, and the result is terrible. Don’t skip this step, even though you’re so excited about getting started.

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Dust off your hand mixer and begin creaming together the butter and sugar, until well incorporated and fluffy. Chop up your rosemary (my recipe calls for a bit more because I wanted the flavor to be quite strong). Add the rosemary into the butter/sugar bowl. Grate and juice the lemon into the same bowl. Add the Almond/Vanilla extract, the two are interchangeable in this recipe because they are not used as the primary flavor, but simply to curb the somewhat dry, and acidic tendencies of the other flavors. Pick your favorite sweet-baking base- I used Almond. Mix these ingredients together, it will smell amazing. Pause for a moment and preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.

Next, slowly start pouring in the flour, and combining bit by bit. The dough will be soft, much like play-dough. Flour your surface, and roll the dough into 1/4 inch thickness. For my cookies I just used a very thin glass, and I floured (or you can use butter/Crisco) the mouth of it first, to ensure the cookies came out cleanly. This recipe does not rise very much, so what you cut is just slightly smaller than the final product.

Place each cookie with about one inch bake space, on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. You will know the cookies are done when they are slightly golden, catch them before they brown because they will be quite hard by then. This should take 20 minutes, give or take, depending on the size of your cookies and heat of your oven. I set my timer for 15 minutes, and watched them closely until until they started to golden.

I packaged my cookies up in small cellophane bags and added a Kashmir style label in marigold with my own message, to reflect the cheery atmosphere of my first Floridian tea party!

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Zoe (64 Posts)

Zoe is born and bred in Portland, Oregon and recently moved to Orlando, Florida. She studied sociology and philosophy at University of Oregon, and is currently employed at a law firm. Presently, she devotes her time to being lost in the tropical vegetation of her backyard, sun-scorched bike rides, repurposing everything she can think of, quirky cooking, and promoting the creative lifestyle that she loves.


  1. Hi Zoe,
    About how many cookies did this recipe make? It’s got a lot of butter and flour, so looks like a lot of cookies! I may halve it. Thanks!

    • Thank-you for asking Meg, pardon me for not including that! The cookies in this batch were just larger than 50-cent pieces, so the recipe made 60 or so! Also, I made a dozen-or-so larger cookies for the actual event, then gifted the mini versions (6 per cellophane bag). Enjoy them!

      Side note: I cannot get enough of these dunked in Earl Grey Tea 🙂

  2. I love rosemary and lemon together in EVERYTHING (potatoes, pasta, etc.) but never thought to combine in a cookie. What a cool idea! I have some rosemary in my window garden so I’m going to have to try this.

  3. I just made these cookies and they are wonderful, although I had to tweak the recipe to make sugar free cookies since I’m allergic to sugar and they still turned out very tasty. I never would have thought to put rosemary into a cookie!, plus my house smells great. Thank you for your recipes!!

  4. I’m SO glad you liked them, Jo. The aroma is so spicy and sweet! I would love to know what tweaks you made, I am always trying to limit my sugar (my true vice). Do tell! Thank-you for trying the recipe for yourself- I hope it satisfied as many bellies at your house, as it did mine!

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