Rosemary Sand Dollar Cookies

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(Original Post Date:  June 28, 2010)

Last year, I bought several herb plants (rosemary, mint, sage, thyme, tarragon, cilantro, and basil), and grew a little herb garden on the patio.  Several of the plants have now gotten a little too big for their planters, and a little re-potting and selective pruning was necessary.  After all the dirty work was done, I ended up with a few woody branches of fresh rosemary.  Time to make cookies, I guess!

I know it sounds kind of strange to add a savory herb like rosemary to something sweet like a cookie, but this cookie is really good! There is a subtle salty-sweet quality to the buttery shortbread-like cookie with a delicate rosemary flavor – and it pairs perfectly with a nice cup of tea, hot or cold.  And it smells so good baking…

I love the fragrance of fresh rosemary.  Translated literally, rosemary means “dew of the sea“.  And that’s exactly what the scent of rosemary makes me think of… ocean breezes along the Mediterranean coast.  I formed the cookie into little sand dollars (a little nod to rosemary’s beachy name) - but you could easily just slice and bake them without any additions or decorations and they would turn out just as good.

Rosemary Sand Dollar Cookies:

  • 1 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 T. chopped rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 3/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts
  • sugar for decorating

1.  Remove the rosemary leaves from the woody stems.  Then, chop the rosemary until fine.

2.  Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3.  Add the chopped rosemary, salt, and lemon extract.  If you don’t have any lemon extract, you can use the zest of one lemon instead.

4.  Stir in the flour.

5.  The dough will be very soft and sticky.  Place the dough onto a large rectangle of waxed paper and shape into a long log, about 3 inches in diameter.

6.  Refrigerate the log at least 1 hour until firm.  However, the flavor of this cookie will be much more intense if you leave the log refrigerated for 2 days to let the flavors meld.

7.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the log from the refrigerator, and slice into 1/4 inch slices.

8.  Place the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet.  Press 5 pine nuts into the top of each cookie, into a star pattern.  Sprinkle each cookie with large decorating sugar crystals.

9.  Bake for 8 minutes.  The cookies will be soft and fragile when removed from the oven.  Carefully lift each cookie to a paper towel set on the counter top to cool.