December 13, 2019 by Courtney 23 Comments
These rich Lemon Rosemary Butter Cookies aresimple to make and have a wonderfully buttery, bright, herby flavor
A few years ago I picked up a copy of the Fannie Farmer Boston Cooking School Cookbook (<affiliate link). The cookbook was originally published in 1986, but my “updated” version was a ninth edition published in 1956. The pages are worn and yellowed, dotted with drops of sauce and oil from who knows how many cooks before me. There are no glossy full page photos or step-by-step instructional images. Instead, it’s 800 pages packed full of simple, made from scratch recipes for everything you can possibly imagine.
A quick perusal of the book makes it clear cooking has changed a lot since the early 20th century. You won’t find many recipes for Raisin Sauce (to be served with ham or tongue) and Prune Whip on Pinterest these days. At the same time, it’s also clear so much remains the same. Amidst some of the more unusual (for us) recipes, I have found many tried and true favorites. I find myself returning to the Fannie Farmer Cookbook often, especially when I’m in search of a classic recipe that I know will stand the test of time.
Among my favorites in the book are these Lemon Butter Cookies. Butter cookies are similar to shortbread, but with a slightly higher sugar to butter ratio, and, in some cases, the addition of egg yolks. The resulting cookies are rich and buttery but sturdier than shortbread, making them perfect for cutouts.
Fannie’s recipe already included a fair helping of lemon juice and zest, but also used cinnamon and clove for spice. I was looking for something a little less Christmas-y, so I omitted the spices and added a sprinkling of chopped fresh rosemary instead.
I know the thought of adding fresh herbs to a cookie might seem a little strange, but it gives these cookies the loveliest flavor. The scent of rosemary and citrus alone is mouthwatering, but every sweet, buttery, and lemony bite will convince you that this combination was meant to be.
I cut these cookies out into simple circles and rolled them in sparkling sugar sprinkles (<<affiliate) for a little spring bling. That, plus the flecks of rosemary in the dough, make these cookies an effortlessly lovely option for Easter celebrations or spring gatherings. The Mr. and I both loved these and found them hard to resist. I had to give some away and freeze the rest to keep my hands off of them! I think you’ll find, like I did, that Fannie Farmer knew just what she was doing with these Lemon Butter Cookies!
These cookies also can be made ahead. Both the dough and the baked cookies are perfect for freezing! To see all my tips for freezing cookies, check out my Guide to Freezing Cookies.