These lemon thyme cookies are a great way to showcase a much loved garden herb – lemon thyme. Take a bite of this cookie and you’ll fall in love with this lemony scented herb as well.
I think these would be lovely for a shower, afternoon tea, potluck or some other elegant affair where you want to make an impression. What’s really great is that they look stunning, but are super easy to make.
Recipe for Lemon Thyme Cookies
Heads up! All the steps in this cookie recipe are super easy, but you do need to give yourself a little time. Don’t rush the dough. You’ll get better results and be less frustrated if you let the dough rest in the fridge for an hour before rolling and cutting the cookies. And, you’ll also need to let the icing harden before trying to transport these cookies.
Lemon Thyme Cookies with Lemony Icing
- 1 cup butter room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp lemon thyme leaves stripped off stem
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon thyme leaves
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- In large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy, about 3 min.
- Beat in egg and vanilla and beat until fluffy, about 2 min.
- Add lemon zest and lemon thyme until well mixed.
- Gradually add in flour, mix until just combined. Batter will look crumbly. Use hands to press together into one rough shaped ball.
- Separate into two pieces, flatten and wrap each half with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least one hour before rolling.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Remove one half of dough from fridge, roll out on lightly floured counter to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with your favorite cookie cutter and place on cool cookie sheet leaving 1 inch space between cookies. Re-roll scraps and cut cookies until done. Repeat with other half of dough.
- Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until just turning gold around edges. Remove from oven and let rest for two minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
- Cool thoroughly before adding icing.
- In small bowl combine powdered sugar with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Mix well.
- Add more lemon juice to reach desired consistency.
- Sprinkle lemon thyme and lemon zest on top of cookie before top hardens.
- Rest for 1 hour.
- Makes 24 to 36 cookies depending on cookie cutter size
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
Adding Herbs to Baking
We often think of fresh garden herbs for savory dishes, but don’t count them out for sweet treats like these lemon thyme cookies. Herbs like lemon thyme, lemon verbena, lemon grass, lemon basil, mint (chocolate mint, apple mint, orange mint, etc.), orange thyme, pineapple sage, basil, sorrel, lavender and rosemary are just some of the herbs that would work very well in combination with sweets. They also make great herbal teas!
The key is to experiment and taste along the way. Each herb and each time you pick that herb, it will have a slightly different concentration of flavor. Start with a small amount and add as much as you need to get the desired flavor.
Consider texture as well. These lemon thyme cookies would be much less enjoyable if I didn’t strip the tiny leaves off the tough woody stem. Only the very tip of the stem is tender enough for this cookie. I don’t think dried thyme would be as effective in these cookies either.
It might help to think of pairing herbs with a fruit or other distinct food. For these cookies, I combined lemon and lemon thyme. Other pairs to consider might be:
chocolate and mint
rosemary and cranberry
pear and sage
strawberry and basil
orange and orange thyme
There are no hard and fast rules, just have fun experimenting. Really, what’s the worst thing that could happen if you added a little mint to your favorite brownie recipe?!
I would love to hear about your herb and baking experiments, please let me know if you come up with some tasty herb/sweet combination. Leave a comment and or share a photo on Instagram and tag @getgettys so I can see it and like it there!
Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist, speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas. She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.