Cookie Recipes

Courtesy of Penn State Extension Master Gardeners of Allegheny county. Include: Lavender shortbread, honey bee cookies, cinnamon basil & lime icebox cookies, and rhubarb cookies.

Lemon Verbena Cookies

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  •  2 T fresh lemon verbena, chopped
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp lemon zest
  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • Extra sugar for rolling

Combine dry ingredients, set aside. Beat butter, add sugar eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add half flour mixture, beat. Stir in remaining with wooden spoon. Scoop into rounded shapes, roll in extra sugar.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet, bake at 350 degrees F, 8-10 minutes until edges lightly browned. Cool. Makes ~ 4 dozen.


Citrus-Herb Cookies

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbs. grated orange zest
  • 2 tsp. very finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 6 to 8 fresh mint leaves, very finely sliced
  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Raw or turbinado sugar for sprinkling


In a bowl, combine the butter, granulated sugar and salt. Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat until smooth. Add the egg, orange zest, thyme and mint and beat until well mixed. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour in 3 batches, beating after each addition, until combined. Divide the dough in half and shape each portion into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour or up to overnight.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the middle level. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.


Remove the dough logs from the refrigerator. For round cookies, roll the plastic-wrapped logs on a work surface (like rolling a rolling pin) to smooth the sides, keeping the diameter uniform. For square cookies, using your hands, tap each wrapped log on 4 sides against the work surface to flatten the sides evenly. Unwrap the logs and, using a sharp knife, cut the logs crosswise into slices about 1/4 inch thick.


Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of raw sugar. Bake the cookies, rotating the sheets front to back after about 5 minutes, until light golden brown, about 10 minutes.


Let the cookies cool on the pans on wire racks for a few minutes, then use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.


Lavender Shortbread

  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) butter
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lavender buds, or 2 teaspoons dried
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (spoon and level)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Grind the lavender with the sugar in a small food processor. Cream lavender sugar and butter.

Add all of the flour and mix until it forms a cohesive dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a 12 x 9 inch rectangle. Cut the dough into 3 x 1 ½ inch bars or your favorite shape.

Bake until the cookies are light sand-­colored, not browned, about 22 to 25 minutes.

Herb substitutions:

In place of the lavender use an equal amount of rosemary, thyme, lemon thyme, or lemon verbena.

Spice substitutions:

Use 2 teaspoons dried anise or fennel seeds.

Honey Bee Cookies

  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. of baking soda
  • ½ tsp. of salt
  • ½ tsp. of ground cinnamon

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter, brown sugar, honey and egg until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until set and light brown around the edges (surface will appear shiny), 7 to 9 minutes. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet. Cool on a wire rack to cool.

Makes 36 cookies.


Honey-­Bran: Stir 1 cup of shreds of bran cereal into batter.
Honey-­Cinnamon: Mix 2 tablespoons of sugar and ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon;; sprinkle on the cookies immediately after removing from the oven.
Honey-­Coconut: Stir 1 cup shredded coconut into batter.

Cinnamon Basil & Lime Icebox Cookies

  • 2 cups all-­purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cinnamon basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest
  • 1 cup slivered almonds or pistachios, chopped
  • Parchment or wax paper for wrapping dough.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

Cream butter, sugar and egg together in mixer until light and fluffy. Add vanilla extract, nutmeg, lime zest, cinnamon, basil and almonds and mix until thoroughly combine.

Add flour mixture in three or four parts, making sure that flour is completely mixed in before next addition.

Gently roll dough into an even log about 3 inches in diameter, lightly flour hands and work surface if dough is sticky. Wrap rolled dough in parchment/wax paper and chill at least 2 hours until completely firm or store for up to one week in the refrigerator. This dough can also be frozen for up to two months.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, slice dough in roll 1/8 inch thick straight out of the refrigerator or after about 6 hours of thawing in fridge if frozen dough. Place cookies about 2 inches apart on a sheet pan and bake 8-­10 minutes until edges are lightly golden brown. Remove from sheet pan immediately and cool on a wire rack.

Rhubarb Cookies

  • 2 cups Rhubarb, finely chopped
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar ¼ cup milk
  • 1 egg ½ cup raisins
  • 2 cups all-­purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

Toss the rhubarb with ½ cup white sugar and let sit overnight. Drain off about ¾ cup of the liquid (save for another purpose). Cook the remaining liquid and rhubarb over medium heat until just tender but still holding its shape. Drain and set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease two cookie sheets. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and beat until smooth. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk to the butter/sugar, beating well after each addition. Stir in the rhubarb, raisins, and nuts. Drop by the teaspoonful onto the greased baking sheets.

Bake for about 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Place cookies on wire racks to cool.