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Lemon Rosemary Ginger Cookies (runner up)

Lemon Rosemary Ginger Cookies
Lemon Rosemary Ginger Cookies (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun)

Every fall, Sandra Burt of Towson digs up her rosemary plant from the garden and brings it inside in a pot. About five years ago, she was trying to figure out new things to do with the rosemary and decided to try it in a butter cookie and experiment with complementary flavors. The result is her Lemon Rosemary Ginger Cookies. "I've used them in cookie swaps before and lots of people really llike them, but some people don't. They don't tell me, but I can tell," she says with a laugh. She ususally makes six to eight kinds of cookies each year — iced mocha and sugar cookies among them — but the new cookie is slowly becoming a must-have holiday treat.

Makes 60 cookies

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1 pound butter, unsalted, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

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1 egg

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

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2/3 cup fine chopped candied ginger (pea sized)

1 1/2 tablespoons fine chopped rosemary

3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

Cream the butter and sugar in mixer bowl. Add egg and lemon juice, blend well. Mix in flour. Mix in rosemary, lemon zest and candied ginger

Shape the dough into four rectangular logs (or traditional round). Wrap the log with the wax paper and chill several hours or overnight. Unwrap the dough and cut the logs into cookies about 1/4 inch thick with a serrated knife. When cut, the cookies should be the size and shape of a domino tile. Bake in oven (preheated to 350 degrees) for 10-14 minutes, or until light brown in color.

Hint: If you find that the ginger sticks to the knife, put a few tablespoons of powdered sugar on it while chopping. Then sift the sugar off the ginger. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container or zipper bags in the freezer until needed.

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