Putting basil in my buttercream was apparently just a gateway drug into the depraved and unhinged world of herb-infused baking.

You can all look back on that moment and say, with your eyes cast downward and a definite “tsk tsk” in your voice, “She was such a sweet girl, just so…normal.  Sane.  A totally rational human being.  I’d never have thought….”


But there were signs.  Definite signs.

First basil, then tarragon.

And next…who knows?  Kale.  Peas.  Mustard greens.

A certain other “herb” that is most certainly not legal at all in any ways but that I hear goes splendidly in boxed brownie mix.  Not that I would know much of anything about that firsthand, but I have friends.  Who have friends.  Who know people.  Who bake with boxed brownie mix.  Among other things.


I’m digging myself into a very large hole here when really what I meant to say is BAKE THESE!

With caution.

Because even though they may not have our little aforementioned “herb” friend in them (or do they??) (no, but really, they don’t)…they will have you going back for cookie after cookie.

Waking up in the middle of the night craving that combination of lime and white chocolate with just the slightest hint of licorice.

Not really sure why, just knowing that you need it.  Want it.  Can’t live without it.


Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

PicMonkey Collage

Lime Tarragon Cookies with White Chocolate Topping
Makes 12-20, adapted from Baked Elements

For the Lime Tarragon Cookies:

  • 8 oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp minced fresh tarragon
  • 1 tbsp lime zest (about 1 lime)
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

For the White Chocolate Lime Topping:

  • 3.5 oz good quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • grated lime zest, about 1 1/2 limes worth


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the salt, tarragon, lime zest and lime juice and beat on high speed for 30-45 seconds or until the zest is speckled throughout the dough.  Add the flour and beat on low until incorporated.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat again for 10 seconds.  Scrape the sides of the bowl again and use a spatula to mound all of the dough in a ball in the center of the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 350.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Using a medium cookie scoop (1 1/2 tbsp) scoop out the dough into 1 1/2 tbsp-size balls (or measure using a tablespoon).  Place the dough balls about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets.  Bake, one sheet at a time, for 13-15 minutes until the edges of the cookies are golden brown and just starting to darken (they won’t look quite done yet but don’t worry…they are!).
  4. Place baking sheets on wire racks to cool for 10 minutes.  Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the racks to cool completely.  Repeat until all dough has been baked.
  5. Place the white chocolate in a glass measuring cup.  In 10-second bursts, microwave the chocolate at 100% power, stirring in between, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.
  6. Using an offset spatula, spread a dollop of white chocolate on the top of each cookie, then sprinkle with a little bit of lime zest (I grated the limes over the cookies so that as the zest fell, it fell on them!).  Allow the chocolate to set completely before serving.

For more herb-infused sweet treats, check out these recipes:
Chocolate Cupcakes with Basil Buttercream Frosting
Meyer Lemon Rosemary Sticky Buns
Blueberry, Lime and Thyme Pound Cake Muffins
Thai Basil Ice Cream
Strawberry Shortcakes with Balsamic and Black Pepper Syrup


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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67 Responses to Lime Tarragon Cookies with White Chocolate Topping

  1. These cookies sound so yummy! What a unique combo of ingredients. Love the addition of the white chocolate and lime on top!!

  2. I love this road you are taking with herbs and desserts!

    Um, I can’t even tell you how many people have requested that I start a line of a certain herb infused brownies. lol

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I can’t even imagine what lime and tarragon taste like together. Love the pretty garnish

  4. I’m actually loving the thought of the tarragon in a dessert…with its anise-y undertones. Aw yeah..I think you’ve headed down a very good path ;P

  5. OohLookBel says:

    The cookies look Fabulous! Fantastic flavour combo, and so pretty.

  6. Nicole, RD says:

    Herbs in baking…there’s something about it that I absolutely love! Cardamom pancakes are still on my re-make list. They were life-changing!

  7. daphne says:

    I love it! No rules here and having just a hint of tarragon in the icing would have given it a lift!

  8. These cookies sound amazing and I love the combo you used!!

  9. Mary says:

    I love this! No one in my family is a big fan of tarragon, but I’d be willing to bet that a cookie might change that. I love the way your think beyond the normal flavor combinations. Thanks again for the inspiration!

  10. The herby baking world is a slippery slope! These look beautiful though.

  11. Danielle says:

    I love tarragon and always have trouble figuring out exactly how to use it. I never thought to go the dessert route. Looks great!

  12. Mo 'Betta says:

    Oh my goodness. You know I love lime right?! I’ll inbox you my address and you can send some of these right over 😉

  13. sandra says:

    they sound divine. i love a good herb in my cookie, any day. and they look so lovely with their lime zest decoration, like the little flowers on the plates they are served on.

  14. Rachel says:

    Thank you!
    I have a HUGE bunch of tarragon in my fridge thanks to this weeks CSA box and it is the hardest herb for me to use up. I made some tarragon lemon quinoa that was pretty good but cookies sound like a much more fun. Go ahead, put strange herbs in strange places. I’ll try it!

  15. Monet says:

    I have tarragon in my fridge too (making a classic chicken pot pie) and I now know what to do with the rest of it. Lovely. Thank you for sharing with me. And thank you for your kind words and continued support. They mean more to me than I can express! Have a wonderful weekend!

  16. love2dine says:

    that must be good with a hot cup of tea. i have never tasted it before.

  17. Sounds awesome to me Joanne! The big question is are you converting The.Boy to herb desserts yet? 😉

  18. marie says:

    I love white chocolate and lime and I am always up for new flavor combos so this looks quite delicious to me. Great photos as usual 🙂

  19. london bakes says:

    Ooh these cookies sound amazing! What a fantastic combination of flavours.

  20. Eileen says:

    Lime and tarragon? Hmm–sounds complex and savory! Curiosity officially whetted. 🙂

  21. Hello again! Sorry I’ve been silent! Missed ya, lady 😉

    Anyways, these look gorgeous and delicious! I love the flavor combo to pieces. 🙂

  22. Shannon says:

    once you start putting things where they don’t belong, you never go back! lol, that sounds funny 🙂 i’m all about it, though!

  23. Dude, these look awesome! I never would’ve though to put herbs in cookies but it sounds amazing!

  24. Guru Uru says:

    These are such gorgreous cooikies – I feel like I could pluck them off a tree 😀


  25. Anything with fresh lime in it has my vote! What an interesting combo with the fresh herbs. Delish!

  26. Basil in buttercream?! YES freaking please!! Love this idea!

  27. Hotly Spiced says:

    What beautiful looking cookies. Love the white chocolate icing with that little sprinkle of colour. I think I’ve had a few of those brownie cookies – unintentionally of course xx

  28. Christine says:

    Not big on sweets but these got my attention. Yum!

  29. LOVE herb-infused baking. The tarragon is a great idea and I bet the flavor goes really well in these cookies. Very creative!

  30. Julie says:

    I love the idea of tarragon in a dessert recipe. Hope you have an awesome weekend.

  31. Pam says:

    With an herb bed full of tarragon, I am completely intrigued.

  32. That Girl says:

    tarragon is so lemony, it’s a great herb for baking.

  33. Katie says:

    Ooh! What a fun combination. It’s great to see those unexpected ingredients cropping up. I’ll look forward to the kale recipe sometime in the future!

  34. Reeni Pisano says:

    I love, love, love me some lime and white chocolate! Tart and sweet – they’re a perfectly irresistible combo!

  35. Hannah says:

    You’ve finally stumped me- I’ve never made a dessert with tarragon before! However, I have a feeling that all might change very soon… Love the white chocolate pairing to really let the herbs shine.

  36. I’m loving your herb infused creations! This is brilliant!

  37. Lori says:

    Tarragon in cookies?! Insert dramatic comment: mind blown! Unexpected, but theyt sound amazing.

  38. Beth says:

    I’m definitely intrigued! The lime in those cookies could get me to try using just about any herb, including THAT one.

  39. White chocolate and lime…and herbs!! What a fantastic sounding combination of flavours…I know I would love this. 🙂

  40. A different and really creative combination of flavors, I’d never think to bake with tarragon but they look amazing. I’d like that combination for sure.

  41. Love it, Joanne. Tarragon is my newest favorite herb (love it with your tomato-peach sauce) although I never would have thought to add it to sweets. Makes sense to me though since tarragon is so much better than licorice. 🙂

  42. I think you are completely sane and normal and I love that you bake with herbs . Very refreshing. I am sure Mustard greens would also be fine as mustard fruit works with lots of things ….. give it a go

  43. Erica says:

    Interesting!!!They sound and look amazing!I would love to try the combination of flavors!

  44. I have always been intrigue with adding herbs into cookies, frosting, etc. Yours look amazing!

  45. Tandy says:

    My tarragon has just died back so I will wait a few months before trying these! Those brownies you mention used to make an appearance often at parties in my youth 🙂

  46. Victoria says:

    I’m intrigued. I’m not a big fan of tarragon (or white chocolate) but in small amounts and paired with the right ingredients they can definitely shine. One more herb-infused dessert post and I’m checking you into rehab 😉

  47. Johanna GGG says:

    I just don’t know tarragon enough to judge you but the cookies sound wonderful to me

  48. Chris says:

    LMAO over the “friends who bake” comment you made, it reminded me of a recent episode of The Newsroom.

    Dr. Drew called and says you need to come see him for a new rehab show he is doing for herb bakers. 🙂 Have a great Labor Day Weekend, Joanne!

  49. Amy says:

    I never cook with tarragon. But I can’t think of a better way to test it out than combined with white chocolate. How bad could that be? Also, I’ve been known to used boxed brownie mix…still friends?

  50. Joanne I am beyond intrigued… However, I don’t have tarragon. What do you think would be a good sub for it?

  51. This is just Yum!!!
    Tarragon in cookies.. Wonderful, trust me I could not have thought of that…

  52. Elizabeth says:

    Hmm. I don’t like the flavor of tarragon in savory cooking, but I can totally see it with lime. That’s not weird, right?

  53. Carolyn Jung says:

    I love herbs in baked goods. My husband is often skeptical. But after one taste, he’s sold. 😉

  54. grace says:

    tarragon! how weird, wild, and wonderful! the white chocolate makes these impossible for me to resist.

  55. Lora says:

    I just made herb cookies as well. These are fabulous. Love the frosting. Didn’t think of that for mine.

  56. Gloria says:

    Joanne loved these when I saw but I cant comment with my phone now I come to the PC look really nice:)

  57. I’m sure to love these. Right now my favorte cookie is a lime pumpkin seed sugar cookie from this great little cafe. These remind me of them.Yum.

  58. Cathleen says:

    Thank you for the warning. I will make these with caution. They don’t sound that strange to me. I tried wasabi ice cream :p

  59. Kim says:

    I haven’t gotten on the “herbs in desserts” train yet, but these are very convincing.

  60. Roz says:

    Yes, I definitely need a ‘warning’ from you about these lime-white choco cookies . . . I’m in heaven just looking at the photos Joanne! You’re cruel to a middle aged foodie trying to lose weight! LOL! But that’s OK, I like your style of torture!

    PS: I’ve added your blog to my blogroll over on my new WordPress blog that I’ve been nurturing in it’s infancy:

    If you could follow along it would be great because at some point, the ‘blogger’ site will come to an end.

    Thanks for your support and now I’ve got to go print out this cookie recipe!

  61. Pam says:

    I have never thought to add herbs to baked goods. I did just make cookies with salt so that’s a start.

    These tasty treats look amazing!

  62. Kari says:

    These are my sort of cookies! It is a slippery slope into odd baking, once you start, but I think you’re still in the ‘unusual but great’ range 🙂

  63. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, These are perfect and delicious looking cooks. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  64. I LOVE this new craze of yours!! 🙂 Especially since I just filled my garden with all sorts of new herbs, including tarragon. Splendid. 🙂

  65. This is a great idea. My tarragon plant is growing out of control, and I never even have anything to do with it!

  66. Laura says:

    Gorgeous! You know, I don’t even know what tarragon tastes like! It is not one of my more used herbs.

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