Rosemary Lemon Drop Biscuits

rosemary-lemon-biscuitsA truly quick-n-easy biscuit recipe that produces light and fluffy free-form biscuits that are crunchy on the outside, melting and tender on the inside. Fresh lemon zest and rosemary make them sing, especially in the heart of winter.

In the snowy Northeast, rosemary over-winters quite well in a sunny window indoors. It doesn’t thrive, but holds a sort of status quo until you can put it back outside in the spring. Worth it to have access to fresh herbs at a moment’s notice, especially in a storm-ridden New York winter.

If you have the room and the sunny spot for an indoor lemon tree – I am envious, and possibly moving in. If not, every winter I indulge in a box of gorgeous Meyer lemons from Lemon Ladies in the Bay Area. I’m here to tell you, they make one mean biscuit. In the best possible way.

Adapted from Rosemary Lemon Drop Biscuits in Your Organic Kitchen by Jesse Ziff Cool.

rosemary-lemon-biscuitsRosemary Lemon Drop Biscuits


  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • zest from 2 medium lemons (I used Meyer)
  • 2 stems fresh rosemary, finely minced, about 1 tbsp
  • 9 oz (2 cups) whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • few grinds of black pepper
  • 4 oz (½ cup or 1 stick) frozen butter
  • flaky sea salt, for topping


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (400 F convection). Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, lemon zest and rosemary. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and pepper.
  2. Using the largest holes on a box grater, grate the butter into the flour. Chop the last inch or so of frozen butter, when it becomes too small to grate, into pea-sized chunks. Using your hands, work the butter into the flour just until all of the flour is somewhat moist. No need to go crazy here, since the butter is already in very small pieces. Just try to introduce all of the flour to the butter. Add buttermilk mixture and fold into flour just until combined: some streaks of flour are fine. The dough should be sticky & wet, but not so runny that it will not mound on the baking sheet. Adjust flour or buttermilk as necessary to reach the right consistency.
  3. Drop by heaping teaspoons – or tablespoons – onto prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle tops with flaky sea salt. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 12 – 15 minutes for small biscuits, 18 – 22 minutes for larger ones. Transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm.

Yields about 3 dozen small 2 ¼-inch, or 18 larger 3 ½-inch, biscuits.


  1. Easily adaptable to any citrus zest-herb combination. Grapefruit-thyme, blood orange-cardamom, and mandarin orange-fennel are a few to try.
  2. This recipe is pretty forgiving as biscuits go; if you don’t have WW pastry flour, you can use AP flour, or try whole white wheat flour.


Wrapped in a clean kitchen towel at room temperature for 2 or 3 days.


Winter, or year round.



    • HI Karen,

      Usually biscuits don’t have egg, so if you omit it should be fine; a little more crumbly perhaps, but still tasty. I’d add another 1/4 cup of buttermilk, but that should be plenty of baking powder.

  1. These were so easy and delicious! I served them with the black currant jam and our blueberry/fig/lemon jam. I was wondering if I could substitute some lemon juice for part of the buttermilk? We like things really lemony, but I was afraid of throwing off the acidity balance and texture.

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