1-2-3 Rosemary Butter Cookies

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Impress-o-meter and stress-o-meter
The subtle lemony-pine taste of the rosemary marries beautifully with the rich buttery taste of this easy cookie. It rates a WOW on the Impress-O-Meter and is a no-brainer RELAXED reading on the Stress-O-Meter.

I have a new favorite cookie! It’s a savory twist on my easiest-ever 1-2-3 Sugar Cookie recipe. This super simple, egg-free dough (or is it cookie batter?) is made with just three essential ingredients: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup butter, and 1/3 cup sugar. The savory twist is the addition of 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary and a little salt. The results are FABULOUS! A slightly sweet, chewy cookie with the perfect hint of rosemary and a rich buttery taste. They mix up in less than 10 minutes, no chilling required – no rolling pin needed, and take just 15 minutes to bake.  

picture of ingredients and a picture of the equipment & tools
Ingredients are sugar, flour, butter, rosemary, and salt. Needed tools and equipment include a mixing bowl, electric mixer, measuring cups, measuring spoons, spatula, cookie scoop, baking sheet lined with a silicone mat, and a baking rack. Not pictured: Herb Leaf Stripper.

Sidebar: The culinary-correct term for a cookie mixture is dough, not batter. (Yay, I was right!) After a bit of internet research, I confirmed that batter and dough are different. As you might suspect, it has to do with moisture content. I’m not going to bore you with the “rules”, and yes, there are rules as to what defines a dough versus a batter. I think it’s enough to know that most liquid concoctions are considered “batter” and more solid mixtures as “dough.” Cookies and pie crust are made from dough, whereas cakes are made from batter.

The rich buttery taste is the result of the half cup (one stick) of butter. FYI: The most significant difference between sugar cookies and butter cookies is that sugar cookies are often rolled thin and cut out using cookie cutters. Butter cookies (no surprise) contain a higher percentage of butter, while sugar cookies have a higher flour to butter/fat ratio.

two pictures of butter in bowl with beaters
In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar, with an electric mixer beat until fluffy,

Speaking of butter, it needs to be softened for it to properly incorporate with the sugar. Chilled butter won’t work, neither will melted butter. The butter should be soft enough to make a finger imprint at a touch but not so warm that it looks shiny or greasy. The easiest way to soften butter is to let it sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes. Cubing the butter reduces the time needed. For immediate results, cut the stick into 6 slices and place them between 2 sheets of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin, meat mallet, or the flat bottom of a glass, pound the butter into a thin layer. Ta-da softened butter.

bowls with rosemary and salt and with flour added
Add salt and rosemary to butter mixture. Add flour gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.

The star of these delicious cookies is the rosemary. I use fresh rosemary. It’s one of my favorite herbs, and it’s really easy to grow in a window garden. Two tablespoons of minced fresh rosemary will do the trick. Handling fresh herbs can be a little challenging, separating the leaves from the stems. I found a great gadget that I highly recommend — a Herb Leaf Stripper. It makes that task a breeze and keeps fingers from getting sticky. I highly recommend it.

Rosemary plant
Rosemary is an easy herb to grow at home.

If you don’t have access to fresh rosemary, dried rosemary works just fine. The conversion formula for fresh herbs to dried herbs is 1 tablespoon fresh to 1 teaspoon dried.   

Rosemary belongs to the mint family and is one of the most aromatic and pungent of all the herbs. The needle-like leaves have a pronounced lemon-pine flavor. It’s also known for several health benefits, including being a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, thought to boost the immune system and improve blood circulation. It is also known to boost alertness, intelligence, and focus. I’m not saying that these cookies are healthy, but hey, I’ll take it.  

Cookies being scooped out of a bowl onto a baking sheet
Using a cookie scoop, place small balls on a baking pan lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

These cookies take just 10 minutes and three steps to mix the dough, scoop on parchment or silicone mat lined baking sheet, slightly flatten and bake. I used a drinking glass that had a design on the bottom to flatten the dough. The design left an imprint that gave the cookies a more elegant look. The recipe only makes 15 cookies. I recommend that you double it, as these cookies will literally disappear off the plate.  

Slightly flatten cookies with the bottom of a glass. I used a a glass with a design on the bottom.
cookies on cooling rack
Bake cookies for 15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

Enjoy these delightful cookies with a cup of coffee or tea for a refreshing break. (Don’t forget the alertness-boosting qualities of the rosemary!) 


1-2-3 Rosemary Butter Cookies

Recipe by Jane BruceCourse: Dessert, SnacksCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



A slightly sweet, chewy cookie with the perfect hint of rosemary and a rich buttery taste. They mix up in less than 10 minutes, no chilling required – no rolling pin needed, and take just 15 minutes to bake.  


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened*

  • ⅓ cup white sugar

  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary

  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 325°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, rosemary, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. The mixture will appear crumbly, with your hands form into a ball. The dough should feel smooth.
  • Form the cookies into 1″ balls, with a cookie scoop. Place 2 inches apart on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Slightly flatten the balls with the palm of your hand or bottom of a glass.
  • Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are lightly golden. Let cookies rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack.

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