Skip to main content

Rosemary Lemon Shortbread

By December 15, 2023No Comments

Buttery, flaky, salty, savory and sweet. The best shortbread you'll bake this season.

One of the many joys of living in Virginia is that my rosemary bush winters over. Even the hard freeze of 2022 couldn’t keep my rosemary from growing. Fresh herbs from the garden in winter are a true delight and I try to use them as much as possible, especially when I have a case of the winter blues. This shortbread recipe is sure to bring some sunshine to your day. Bright lemon notes with an underbelly of savory rosemary and buttery goodness delight the palate. Since shortbread is all about the butter, using a high-quality butter that has a milkfat content of 82% is key (the average American butter has a milkfat content of 80%. Look for locally produced butters or European brands such as Plugra or Kerrygold). To kick up the citrus, finish the shortbread bars with a lemon zest drizzle.  Rich and delicious, these shortbread cookies ship and freeze well, if you can resist eating them all in one sitting.

Recipe by Lisa Archer, Roanoke


For the shortbread:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup rice flour

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

2 teaspoons lemon zest

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

1 cup (16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter

For the drizzle

2-3 tablespoons whole milk

3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon lemon zest

pinch salt


  1. Preheat oven to 325℉. In a good processor, pulse together flours, sugar, salt, lemon zest and rosemary. 
  2. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Pulse a few more times until the crumbs start to come together, being careful to not over process.
  3. Press dough into an ungreased 8″ square pan. Prick dough all over with a fork. Bake until golden brown in color, about 50-55 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Cut into bars while shortbread is still warm and transfer to a wire rack.
  4. While bars cool, make lemon drizzle: whisk together milk, confectioners sugar, salt and lemon zest in a glass measuring cup until smooth with a runny consistency. Once bars have cooled completely, drizzle glaze over the bars. Bars can be stored in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

Leave a Reply