rosemary buttter cookies

Are we there yet? I can’t believe Christmas is just a few days away. It has been a super-festive holiday season. There have been parties involving cookies and cocktails and gingerbread houses and eating. There has definitely been some good eating. It’s been a blast. It feels like Christmas. And I’ve been baking up a storm as a result.

What’s crazy to me is that there is so much left to do. I still have a serious shopping list to tackle. And a playlist to compile for this fantastic blog. There are gifts that need to be made and desserts that need to be baked for Christmas Eve and Christmas day. And even though I know I’ll be exhausted at the end of it all, I’m actually really looking forward to it. Like I said, it feels like Christmas.

When I made these rosemary butter cookies for a party last weekend, I decided that I would be adding them to my list of favorites. The cookie itself is not super sweet, which is a nice change of pace from all of the sugary treats I’ve been partaking in. More importantly, it’s an easy cookie, one that requires little time and effort. Plus, the dough can be made in advance and stashed in the freezer until you need it. And with the help of a little rosemary, these are just a bit fancier and more flavorful than your basic butter cookie.

I pretty much love anything with rosemary. As a little girl, I would pick the needles from my grandparent’s rosemary bush and sniff them obsessively; I couldn’t believe that something so fragrant could grow in the yard. Part of me still feels that way whenever I pick the rosemary that grows wild in my front yard. Unlike gingerbread and other spiced goodies that go floating around during this time of year, these rosemary cookies don’t scream Christmas, but are still a great addition to your holiday repertoire. And everyone will thank you.

rosemary butter cookies

adapted from Martha Stewart Holiday Cookies 2005

makes about 5 dozen

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg plus 1 egg white, beaten

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2-1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 cup fine sanding sugar

Combine butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the whole egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour, rosemary, and salt and mix until combined.

Divide dough in half and shape each half into a log. Place each log on a 12-by-16-inch sheet of parchment. Roll in parchment to 1-1/2 inches in diameter, pressing along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Transfer dough to paper-towel tubes to hold shape, and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush each log with beaten egg white, then roll in sanding sugar. Cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Place rounds on baking sheets lined with parchment, about 1 inch apart. Bake until edges are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.