Rosemary, Raspberry, and Coconut Lime Shortbread Cookies – Oh My!

I’ll admit it, I have never been a fan of Shortbread Cookies. I thought them plain and boring, a little dry and crumbly. That is, until my sister-in-law revolutionized my thinking! This simple cookie actually provides an elegant backdrop for a wide variety of flavors. With a few tricks and a little creativity, the Shortbread Cookie can be dressed up or down to fit any occasion, and might very well become your new favorite!

The Basics- Scotch Shortbread Cookies, River Road Recipes I, p. 199

This recipe from River Road Recipes I is the basic Shortbread Cookie that we are all familiar with.


  • 2 cups sifted all purpose flour
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar


  1. Sift flour; cream butter; gradually work in confectioners’ sugar, again creaming thoroughly. Sift in flour a little at a time, mixing quickly and lightly.
  2. Chill dough for thirty minutes in refrigerator.
  3. Roll out dough to thickness of 1/2 inch on lightly floured surface.
  4. Cut shortbread with deep cookie cutter and place cookies on ungreased baking sheet.
  5. Prick surface of cookies with prong of fork.
  6. Bake five minutes at 325°, and then turn oven down to 300° and bake 20-30 minutes longer.
  7. Cookies should be light in color, not brown at all – slightly tan on the bottom.
  8. If seasoned for a week or so in covered tin box and stored in cool spot, they become much better. Will keep indefinitely.


These variations to the above Scotch Shortbread Cookie recipe will take your shortbread cookies to new heights! I haven’t included specific measurements below as these variations are the result of trial and error, so just use your own judgment on what you think will taste good. Don’t be afraid to experiment!

Rosemary Shortbread Cookies

Add a rustic touch to the original Scotch Shortbread Cookie recipe by adding in several tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary to the dough prior to chilling. Follow the remaining instructions as before.

Raspberry Thumbprint COokies

Make the scotch shortbread recipe as before, but instead of rolling thin and using a cookie cutter to form the cookies, roll the dough into small balls, then press your thumb into the middle of the ball to create an indentation. Spoon raspberry jam into the thumbprints and bake. After removing from the oven, mix a little confectioners’ sugar with water to make an icing and drizzle the icing over the top!

Coconut Lime Shortbread Cookies

This is probably my favorite variation, and the one my sister-in-law introduced me to. Follow the directions as before, but add coconut flakes to the dough prior to chilling. While the cookies are baking, mix confectioners’ sugar, water, and lime juice to taste together to make icing. The icing should be somewhat thick, so add additional confectioners’ sugar as needed in the event the icing becomes too watery. Once the cookies have cooled, spread the icing over the top. Finish by sprinkling lime zest over the tops of the iced cookies!

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