Rosemary Lemonade

Rosemary Lemonade

Rosemary Lemonade 4

One of the houses I grew up in had a massive lemon tree in the backyard. It wasn’t until we moved that I realized it wasn’t normal to have freshly squeezed lemon juice at the ready whenever we wanted. My sister now has the same citrusy fortune at her own house. She sent me a little care package the other day with granola (she makes the best granola!), homemade jam, and lemons. After a cold, snowy winter, the lemons put an instant smile on my face. The cheery color and fresh scent of lemons always reminds me of sunshine and long summer days.

Normally when I receive a lemon windfall I zest and juice every last one and freeze the spoils. This time around I left the lemons in a bowl on our coffee table as a reminder that Spring is coming.

While reading a post on Modern Mrs. Darcy, I saw mention of rosemary lemonade which immediately piqued my interest. We happened to have fresh rosemary AND a bowl full of those beautiful lemons. The weekend fates of good eats were with us! The post didn’t have a recipe, so I Googled it to get some how-to inspiration. I ended up combining two methods (this and this) to create a refreshing, festive drink perfect for warm afternoons in the sun.

Rosemary Lemonade 3

Rosemary Lemonade 2

Rosemary Lemonade

THE drink for sipping in the afternoon sun on the back porch. A great compliment to grilled meats. I think, though I haven’t tested my theory, that a little splash of limoncello would make this a wonderful lemonade cocktail.

  • 1 large rosemary sprig
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups freshly squeezed lemon juice

Combine rosemary sprig, sugar, and water in a large sauce pot. Bring to boil. Remove pot from heat and let steep for 30 minutes.

Add lemon juice to taste. My lemon juice sweet spot was 1 3/4 cups, but I like my lemonade a little on the tart side. Keep in mind the lemonade will dilute a bit when you add ice.

Chill lemonade for at least four hours before serving.

Serve over ice with rosemary sprig and lemon slices for garnish.

 

Rosemary Lemon Sugar Cookies

Rosemary Lemon CookiesOh my heavens.  I love rosemary.  It has quickly become one of my favorite herbs.  Luckily, my husband loves it just as much as I do.  After making some rosemary candied bacon, I was dreaming of all the other ways I could infuse rosemary into foods we enjoy.

I originally thought about adding rosemary to my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe (which I will probably still try), but I decided sugar cookies would be the perfect vehicle for some herb infusion.

Unless we were decorating cut out sugar cookies, my mom always made World’s Best Sugar Cookies.  I’m not sure where the recipe came from, but these soft, chewy pillows of sugary goodness definitely live up to the name.  I updated this classic recipe to include rosemary and lemon.

Rosemary Lemon SugarDSC_0336As I was dreaming of this cookie, I was reminded of a lemon cream scone recipe that further influenced the flavors. The scone is topped with a mixture of lemon zest and sugar, which I thought would be easy to replicate in the sugar cookie’s outer layer.  I rolled my sugar cookie dough in a mixture of sugar, lemon zest, and minced fresh rosemary.

Rosemary LemonMinced fresh rosemary goes into the cookie dough as well as the sugar coating.  A hint of lemon zest complements the earthy spice of rosemary. These are just perfect.

I must admit, they taste delicious straight from the freezer too.  Tim and I have topped warmed up cookies with vanilla ice cream and we’ve also enjoyed them with buttercream sandwiched in the middle.

Rosemary LemonRosemary Lemon Sugar Cookies

This recipe does require chilling.  You can make the dough ahead of time and chill overnight.  Cookies freeze really well.

Cookie Dough

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter, softened

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1/2 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

Cookie Coating

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

zest of 1/2 lemon, approx 1/2-1 teaspoon

1/4 cup granulated sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, powdered sugar, and granulated sugar. Add egg and beat until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, 1 teaspoon minced rosemary, baking soda, and cream of tartar.

Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Beat until just combined and add the oil and vanilla. Mix in the remaining flour mixture.

Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill at least two hours for easy handling.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

When the dough is chilled, use a large cookie scoop to form 24 dough balls.

Stir rosemary, lemon zest, and sugar together using a fork to make sure the zest is evenly distributed.

Roll cookie balls in sugar mixture.

Bake 10-12 minutes. Let cool on pan for a couple minutes than transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: 2 dozen

Lemon Rosemary

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