Herbs in the Cookie Jar: Rosemary Shortbread

| October/November 1995

  • Rosemary Shortbread (top) and Lemon Thyme Cookies, hot out of the oven and good enough to eat.

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

We would surely be remiss if we failed to include our favorite herb, rosemary. These shortbread cookies are rich, crumbly, and satisfying. Pack them away in a cookie tin, then serve them proudly when Polly puts her kettle on.

• 1 cup butter
• 1 cup very fine granulated sugar
• 3 cups flour
• 3 to 4 heaping tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Thoroughly cream the butter and sugar. Add 21/2 cups flour and mix. Turn out on a board floured with the remaining 1/2 cup flour. Knead in the rosemary along with the flour until the dough cracks on the surface and doesn’t stick to the board. Roll it 1/4 inch thick, then cut into shapes. Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet 50 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on racks.

Bertha Reppert and her family have been introducing other people to the pleasures of herbs for more than twenty-five years. All manner of herbal sweets and treats are standard fare at the family-owned Rosemary House in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, one of America’s oldest herb shops. Bertha is also an author and teacher of renown in the herb world. Her daughter Nancy owns Sweet ­Remembrances, a teahouse and catering service that specializes in herb cookery with edible flowers. Through countless garden parties, afternoon teas, and workshops, the Repperts have developed a large repertoire of special recipes, from which these cookie concoctions are drawn.

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