Afternoon Tea: Gluten-Free Rosemary Butter Cookies & Remembrance Tea

Afternoon Tea: Gluten-Free Rosemary Butter Cookies & Remembrance Tea | Growing Up Herbal | Join me for afternoon tea and cookies... recipes included!

Welcome, mama! Won’t you join me for some afternoon tea?

Today we’re having gluten-free Rosemary Butter Cookies and Remembrance Tea. And yes, of course, I’ll share the recipes with you! 

While we’re munching on cookies and sipping our tea, I’d love to tell you how this little tea time tradition developed in our family.

Why I Prioritize Creating Special Memories With My Kids

Afternoon Tea: Gluten-Free Rosemary Butter Cookies & Remembrance Tea | Growing Up Herbal | Join me for afternoon tea and cookies... recipes included!

I’m with my kids for an average of 24 hours a day, most days. 

I cook for them and teach them about nourishing their bodies. I teach them how to do their chores so their future wives don’t think they’re slobs. I train them in behavior and character so they grow into men of integrity. I homeschool them and am in charge of their education. I play with them and do my best to foster creativity and exploration.

However, I also work from home, and I have a lot of things I’m in charge of. From keeping up with our home and children to my online work, to spending time outside the home with friends and family… life is busy for us, but that’s the way we like it.

Among life’s busyness, I have to remember to take some time to create special memories with my children. I don’t want them to look back on their childhood and see a blur of days that were filled with routine living. I want them to remember our adventures, our quiet times of communication and connection, our family fun nights, the messes I let them make (and clean up), and more.

I have found that we do well with routine, but routines don’t have to be stiff and boring. 

When it comes to spending intentional time with my boys, I have to plan for it. Sure there are times of random fun, but for certain things, like our afternoon teas, we have a plan. And you know what? It’s totally worth it!

Why “Afternoon Tea”?

Afternoon Tea: Gluten-Free Rosemary Butter Cookies & Remembrance Tea | Growing Up Herbal | Join me for afternoon tea and cookies... recipes included!

“Afternoon Tea” is a British tradition. 

I’m not going to give you a history lesson here, but basically, in the 1800s it was common for most people to eat breakfast and a late dinner only. Then, Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, decided to have a tiny snack and some tea around 4 o’clock to tide her over until dinner later that evening. After doing it alone for a while she began to invite her lady friends over. It slowly became a big deal and other socialites started doing it. 

From what I could find about this tradition, it’s called “afternoon tea” when there’s only a small snack, mostly women involved and is common among the low to the middle class. It’s called “high tea” when there are more elaborate snacks involved, it’s outside and the men are invited, and is common to the upper class.

So, I came upon the idea of holding an afternoon tea with my boys once a month as we were studying about the British and how England came to be in our homeschool history. (We use Story of the World if you’re curious, and I love it for lower-level history.) As we were studying this time period of history, I remembered reading a section in Sally Clarkson’s book, Own Your Life, about how she wanted to teach culture to her children in a fun, memorable way. There were many things she did to accomplish that goal, one of which was teaching them to love tea.

Being an herbalist, tea is a huge part of how I work with herbs. Herbal teas are commonly used for wellness purposes, but I’ve found that many herbal teas are nutritious and very delicious to drink for enjoyment. So, instead of drinking teas that are common to British afternoon tea, I decided to use herbal teas for ours.  

I began by looking into tea traditions to see what I needed to do. I eventually came up with an afternoon tea ritual that works for us. No, we don’t often invite people over, and we certainly don’t get all dressed up in the middle of the day. We do enjoy a small snack to munch on and a nice, hot pot of herbal tea for drinking.

Our snacks follow along with traditional afternoon tea snacks like cookies, scones (get a recipe for lavender scones for afternoon tea here), biscuits, small sandwiches. Traditionally, these snacks were more bread-like and savory as opposed to sweet. Like I said earlier, we mostly drink herbal teas that accompany our snacks well.

I have found that this is something that the boys look forward to every month. They enjoy the special snack, drinking yummy tea, and getting my undivided attention. It’s a time where we sit together and talk (mostly about things they find silly, but many times about real-life questions they have), and we’re making fun memories while we do it.

I’m sharing this month’s afternoon tea snack and tea recipes with you below.

Gluten-Free Rosemary Butter Cookies

Afternoon Tea: Gluten-Free Rosemary Butter Cookies & Remembrance Tea | Growing Up Herbal | Join me for afternoon tea and cookies... recipes included!

Rosemary butter cookies are delicious!

They’re a combination of slightly sweet and savory flavors. They melt in your mouth. They’re full of healthy fats. And, you can make them with or without gluten.

On the subject of gluten, since we don’t have any gluten allergies or sensitivities in our family so we do eat gluten from time to time, but the more I learn about it, the more I’d like to replace it if possible. I’m not much of an all or nothing person when it comes to eliminating things from my diet so I’m trying to slowly push it out.

This month, I made gluten-free Rosemary Butter Cookies for our afternoon tea, and they were delicious!  (If you have dairy allergies in your family you could try replacing the butter with some sort of dairy-free butter, but seeing how I’ve not tried that, I can’t speak for how they’d turn out or taste.)

Below you’ll find the recipes along with a link to the traditional version that uses plain ole flour.

Gluten-Free Rosemary Butter Cookies Recipe

*Adapted from Colorful Eats Nutrition. *Makes 20-30 cookies.


  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary (use 1 tsp. powdered rosemary)
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. In a coffee grinder (or mortar and pestle), grind 2 teaspoons of dried rosemary into a coarse powder. This releases the oils and flavors. You will only need 1 teaspoon of rosemary powder.
  2. Combine flours, baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of powdered rosemary in a small bowl. Mix well.
  3. In another small bowl, cream butter, honey, and vanilla together.
  4. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Mix well.
  5. Place cookie dough on parchment paper. Shape dough into a log. Roll up with parchment paper, twist ends of the log, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Remove dough from the fridge, unwrap, slice into 1/4 – 1/2 inch cookies.
  8. Place cookies on a baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes.
  9. Remove cookies from the oven, and allow to cool for a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

CLICK HERE for traditional rosemary butter cookies via Martha Stewart.

[yumprint-recipe id=’50’]

Remembrance Tea

Afternoon Tea: Gluten-Free Rosemary Butter Cookies & Remembrance Tea | Growing Up Herbal | Join me for afternoon tea and cookies... recipes included!

This month’s tea is called remembrance tea. It pairs perfectly with our gluten-free rosemary butter cookies.

Rosemary is the herb of remembrance. You can learn more about it here in this in the Herbal Academy Herbarium monograph (these are excellent, by the way), or on Herb Mentor’s Herbalpedia.

This tea is a combination of black tea, rosemary, and orange peel. It’s simple, warming, and stimulating.

Remembrance Tea Recipe



  1. Bring 5 cups of pure water to a boil in a tea kettle.
  2. While water is boiling, combine tea and herbs in a tea strainer. Place strainer in the opening of a teapot.
  3. When the kettle whistles, pour hot water over the herbal tea in the strainer and into the teapot. Place the teapot lid over the strainer and allow the tea to steep for 10 minutes.
  4. When time is up, remove the tea strainer, and serve tea up in teacups with cream and raw honey if desired.
Do you have any family traditions that revolve around tea? If so, share them with me in the comments below.
  1. Michelle says:

    I LOVE this idea Meagan! When we were a homeschooling family (my oldest is in high school, my younger two in private school), we made meal times special. Everyone pitched in to help, we lit candles, said a gratitude blessing, and spent time at the table enjoying food and conversation. With our hectic schedules (I am working/commuting full-time), we don’t enjoy enough of these special moments. You have inspired me to start again, in a small way.

    I appreciate that you are not “all or nothing” in your approach, I see so many mamas get hung up on perfection (of course, celiac disease is serious, and requires diligence!), but in general, we as mothers tend too often to strive for perfection, and food and meal times is one of the areas where we can suffer with our guilt.

    Thank you for sharing the recipes and the intention for your afternoon tea times.

    • Meagan says:

      Glad you liked the post, Michelle! And I think that as our lives change and we go through different seasons, we’ll have to constantly evaluate what we’re doing and make changes as needed. At times, we may have more that we can do, and at other times, like you said, we many need to do things in a small way.
      As far as the all or nothing thing goes… I can totally be that way in certain areas of my life… it’s just that I’m not with gluten. We’re working towards that goal slowly. Plus, when we do eat bread, I’m trying to make sure it’s properly prepared and homemade. Same with sugar. I try to always use a natural, unprocessed version and stay away from cane sugar as much as possible, but there are times when it’s gonna be needed in a food. Like birthday cake. I want my kids to have real birthday cake on their birthdays. Anyway, I’m very much 80/20 on the food rules, but I do try to do the best I possibly can as much as possible.

  2. Grace says:

    If you need or want to replace the butter, I would use coconut oil instead of coconut butter as the replacement.

    • Meagan says:

      Oh really, Grace? Why is that? I’ve only used coconut butter a couple times, but I was under the impression that it was a good replacement for butter.

  3. Simple Lavender Scones for an Enjoyable Afternoon Tea says:

    […] Rosemary Butter Cookies: Butter cookies are small, slightly sweetened cookies that are quick to make and easy to eat as is or to dip into steaming cups of tea. […]

  4. Catherine says:

    It might just be me, but what is the mesure “T” in your recipe? Tablespoon?

    • Meagan Visser says:

      Yes, tablespoon. I just updated the post to spell out the measurements and make it less confusing, though. Hope that helps!

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