December 14, 2009

Rosemary shortbread Christmas tree cookies

Baked rosemary shortbread Christmas tree shaped cookies on a small Christmas tree shaped dish with a rosemary garnish.

Flaky and buttery shortbread cookies are studded with fresh rosemary for these unique and delicious Christmas cookies shaped like trees. The rosemary adds a nice touch of holiday flavor and looks a bit like pine needles in these cookies.

Posts may contain affiliate links. If you purchase an item from these links, a small percentage goes to support the work of this blog. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

These rosemary shortbread cookies have become a holiday staple in our family. They make an appearance on our cookie platter pretty much every Christmas. People are sometimes skeptical at first, but then they love them once they give them a try.

I like to roll out the dough and use a Christmas tree cookie cutter for these cookies because I think it's fun that the rosemary mimics pine needles. However, you can cut them in other shapes you like. A little sprinkle of coarse sugar on top makes them a bit more festive and special.

If you don't want to use cookie cutters, simply roll the dough into a log before refrigerating and make slice and bake circle shortbread cookies. They will still be delicious and will still have the holiday aroma and flavor from the rosemary. 

The dough for these cookies is fragile and delicate, so take care when baking them and when moving them on and off the baking sheet and cooling racks. 

I think these are a unique cookie and something different to try for your holiday desserts. They are a nice change from all the super sweet cookies and smell really good, too. The are sure to add a nice touch to your Christmas cookie trays and be something that many people probably have not tried before you serve them.

The rosemary flavor improves and becomes stronger after a couple of days, so I like to make them ahead of when we will be eating them. The cookie tin always has a lovely aroma when you open it up, too.

Stacked baked rosemary shortbread Christmas tree cookies on a small plate shaped like a Christmas tree.
Yield: about 30 cookies
Author: Amy (Savory Moments)
Rosemary Shortbread Christmas Tree Cookies

Rosemary Shortbread Christmas Tree Cookies

Flaky and buttery shortbread cookies are studded with fresh rosemary for these unique and delicious Christmas cookies shaped like trees.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1-3/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • white sugar or white sugar crystals for sprinkling, optional


  1. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, salt and rosemary until well blended. The dough will be somewhat soft and crumbly. Bring the dough together into a ball and pat into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness (the dough may be difficult to roll until it sits out for a few minutes - I like to do half at a time).
  3. Cut into trees using a cookie cutter (or any shape you choose). Place cookies 1 inch apart on the lined cookie sheets. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with the decorating sugar, if using.
  4. Bake for about 6-9 minutes until just golden on the edges. Carefully remove using a spatula because the cookies are fragile.
  5. Cool on a wire rack and then store in an airtight container for up to several days.


The dough is fragile, so be careful when transferring these cookies to and from the baking sheets and cooling racks.

Recommended Products:

Did you make this recipe?
Tag @savory_moments on instagram and hashtag it #savorymoments
Created using The Recipes Generator

I hope you give these rosemary shortbread cookies a try! Let me know in the comments below.

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!

Baked rosemary shortbread Christmas tree shaped cookies sitting on a tree shaped plate with rosemary and a pinecone ribbon.

Check out these other Christmas cookie recipes: 

Pistachio Cardamom Crescent Cookies

Cranberry Cornmeal Cookies

Chewy Molasses Spice Cookies

Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies


  1. How interesting! I have a huge rosemary bush. I need to give these a try!

  2. I'm definitely going to make these for Christmas this year, they sound delicious! Thank you for the recipe and the tips!!

  3. Just made these! I was a little bit unsure of whether or not I would like the flavors, but I wanted a more savory cookie to balance out all of the sweet ones I’m baking for Christmas. These are so yummy!!! Like my jaw dropped, I was shocked. Such a nice balance of sweet and savory and buttery flavors… delicious. Highly recommend. I’m planning to decorate some with icing but I will probably leave half plain because they are so perfect as is.

    1. I'm so glad you are enjoying them. I felt the same way when I first made them, as did many family members, and now they are a favorite.

  4. I’m having trouble with the dough, it’s very dry… so I added some lemon juice and water but do do you have any idea why my dough seems so dry? Thank you

    1. It is definitely a bit drier to work with and pretty fragile. One tip is to make sure you aren't using too much flour (e.g., spoon it level it into your measuring cup rather than scoop it). Also make sure it's warmed up a bit from being in the refrigerator chilling. I hope that helps!


I love to hear from you!