The idea for this recipe was planted courtesy of the Rosemary Cookies with Tomato Jam recipes in David Lebovitz’s “Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes“. I couldn’t get on board with cooking a juicy, red tomato in the midst of summer, so I opted to flavor my cookies with lemon. I modified the cookie recipe to use white whole wheat flour in place of cornmeal and added lemon juice for flavor.

Once baked and cooled, I spooned a lemon glaze onto the cookies.  The cookies tasted like a tart, zesty butter cookie without the glaze, and a tart yet sweet cookie with the glaze.  The cookies are crisp without the glaze, and soften when it sinks in.

Since I was already using lemon juice in the cookie and lemon zest and juice in the glaze, I thought this the perfect opportunity to try to candy some citrus as well. I sliced the lemons, placed them in a long, hot sugar-water bath, and…finally, something I did for the first time turned out right!

The candied lemon slices are my favorite thus far. They combine the perfect dose of chewy and sweet, like what a Starburst candy wants to be. The slices pair nicely with the cookie, and are also delicious when eaten alone. Use the residual lemon syrup to sweeten homemade lemonade or iced tea, or brush it onto a freshly baked cake.


On a final note, as it relates to the title of this post, today is my sister and brother-in-law’s fourth wedding anniversary. They have a long way to go to make it to 60 like Grandma and Grandpa did a week ago, but I think they are on their way.  Congratulations!

Rosemary Lemon Cookies with Candied Lemon Slices
Recipe type: Dessert
  • ¾ cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped
  • Glaze
  • 1 lemon, zested and juices
  • ¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
  1. Whisk the flours and salt together and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg yolk and mix until well combined, then add the lemon juice and the rosemary. Slowly add the flour and mix until incorporated.
  4. On a lightly floured surface, roll or pat the dough into a log.
  5. Wrap the log in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, approximately one hour.
  6. When firm, unwrap and slice the dough into disks approximately ¼ inch thick.
  7. Place the disks on a cookie sheet lined with parchment.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the edges are a light brown.
  9. Allow to cool to room temperature before spooning the lemon glaze over the tops.
  10. To make the glaze, combine the zest and juice of the lemon with the confectioners’ sugar.
  11. Stir until smooth until smooth.
To candy the lemon slices, bring a 1 cup water and 1¼ cups sugar mixture to a boil. Add the slices of two thinly sliced lemons (seeds removed) and submerge . Reduce to a low simmer. Cover with a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and allow to simmer undisturbed for 30 minutes. Pour the slices and hot sugar syrup into a heat-proof bowl and cool in the refrigerator. When cool, transfer to a covered container and store in the refrigerator.

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