Rosemary Shortbread Cookies with Brown Sugar

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These are the best rosemary shortbread cookies made with brown sugar! They’re buttery and chewy and have the perfect shortbread crisp with a classic shortbread flavor.

Make them into any shape you want, and we chose stars to create the perfect Christmas shortbread cookies. Also, check out our favorite cookie recipes too.

If you love shortbread cookies as much as we do, try our very popular lemon and thyme shortbread cookies and our classic thumbprint cookie recipe too! They’re both absolutely incredible.

the best rosemary shortbread cookies - lemon rosemary shortbread - lemon rosemary shortbread, airtight container, lemon zest, chopped fresh rosemary

We love these cookies because they have a rich buttery flavor. The brown sugar adds even more flavor depth, and the rosemary creates a beautiful, earthy flavor, and they’re perfect Christmas shortbread cookies.

They also make great cutout cookies. The dough is pillow soft, so we refrigerate it for an hour, and then it’s perfect for making shapes using cookie cutters.

This recipe also uses cornstarch, which helps create a crumbly and tender cookie. It really makes s big difference in the texture of the cookie, creating an even better shortbread consistency.

How to Make Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

ingredients to make shortbread cookies - fabulous recipe, orange zest, flaky salt, baking sheet

Ingredients (Full Recipe Below)

Unsalted Butter – Good quality butter works best for making cookies.

Dark Brown Sugar – This is rich in molasses and gives the cookies a deep flavor.

Rosemary – Fresh rosemary, chopped, is what we recommend for this recipe.

All-Purpose Flour – We use King Arthur All-Purpose.

Baking Powder – Acts as a leavening agent.

Cornstarch – Creates a tender and crumby texture.

Vanilla Extract – Adds and enhances the flavors in the cookies.


  • Cream butter, brown sugar, vanilla, and rosemary.
  • In a bowl, add all of the dry ingredients.
  • Mix the dry ingredients with the creamed butter.
  • Scrape the bowl down.
  • Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Roll the dough out on parchment paper and use cookie cutters to make shapes.
  • Bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper for 18 minutes in a 325-degree oven.
rosemary shortbread cookies star shaped - food processor, finely chopped fresh rosemary, powdered sugar

Tips for Making Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

  • Always use whole, organic good quality ingredients when possible. It does make a difference.
  • Refrigerate the dough before making shapes.
  • Make a slice and bake by shaping the dough into a round log, refrigerating for 3 hours, and then slicing.
  • Only use fresh rosemary for this recipe. You can find it in the produce section of the grocery store.
  • When rolling out the shortbread, add just a little flour and a little powdered sugar to create a non-stick surface.
  • Let the cookies cool completely before serving.

How to Store and Freeze Shortbread Cookies

Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.

Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

Wrap the cookies well and freeze them for 3 months.

Christmas Shortbread Cookies

These cookies are delicious for the holidays! Use a star or snowflake cookie cutter to make festive shapes. They will pair perfectly with holiday cookies in a cookie box. The rosemary and brown sugar are wonderful flavor combinations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the secret to good shortbread?

Good quality butter and cornstarch will create the perfect shortbread cookie. Another secret for making the best shortbread is using granulated sugar or brown sugar rather than confectioners sugar. It provides a much crisper cookie.

How do you know when a shortbread cookie is cooked?

The cookies are usually done baking once they begin to turn a light golden brown. I like to take mine out a few seconds before this happens or right when I see the edge of the cookie turn light brown.

Christmas shortbread cookies - food processor, baking sheets, flour rosemary and salt

Wrapping Up…

Christmas is just around the corner, so we thought it would be the perfect time to share our favorite rosemary shortbread cookie recipe with you. These cookies are buttery and chewy with a classic shortbread flavor, and they’re absolutely delicious.

We made them into stars for a festive touch, but you can make them into any shape you want. Be sure to check out our other favorite cookie recipes, too – they’re all amazing!

More Cookie Recipes You’ll Love

Kitchen Sink Cookies

Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies

The Best Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

The Best Shortbread Cookie Crumble Bars

Butterless Chocolate Chip Cookies

Roly Poly Santa Cookies

Also, try our shortbread cookie crust recipe!

Let us know if you make these brown sugar shortbread cookies with rosemary by leaving a comment and review below. We’d love to know your thoughts!

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rosemary shortbread cookies

Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

These are the best rosemary sugar shortbread cookies made with brown sugar! They’re buttery, chewy and have the perfect shortbread crisp with a classic shortbread flavor
4.91 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
30 minutes
Total Time: 58 minutes
Servings: 20 cookies
Calories: 137kcal
Author: Eden


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract , pure
  • 2 tsp rosemary, fresh, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Cream butter, brown sugar, vanilla and rosemary.
  • In a mixing bowl add all of the dry ingredients.
    ingredients to make shortbread cookies
  • Turn the mixer to low and slowly add the dry ingredients in with the creamed butter. Do not over mix.
  • Turn the mixer off and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Cover the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Roll the dough out about 1" thick on parchment paper and use cookie cutters to make shapes.
    rosemary shortbread cookie dough
  • Bake about 9 cookies at a time on a cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper for 18 minutes in a 325 degree oven.
    shortbread cookie dough star


Every oven is different, so make sure you check the cookies after baking for 15 minutes. 
Use whole ingredients and good quality butter.
Refrigerate the dough for up to 2 days, covered. 


Calories: 137kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 61mg | Potassium: 30mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 284IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
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4 thoughts on “Rosemary Shortbread Cookies with Brown Sugar”

  1. 5 stars
    OH MY! These are AH-MA-ZING! I was hesitant about baking these because of the rosemary but my friend wanted me to make them . So happy I did! Even used fresh rosemary from my garden! DO NOT HESITATE like I did. Make these NOW!

  2. 5 stars
    I don’t normally think of rosemary as a dessert ingredient, but it totally works! These are amazing! Adding them to my Christmas cookie tray this year.


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