Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lemon Basil Sugar Cookies

Okay now just bear with me here.  Do not automatically decide that you are going to hate these cookies just because of the rather surprising ingredient (this is exactly what everyone at the beach house did).  Yes, it's a lemon sugar cookie, which isn't so weird, but yes, there is also basil in them.

Basil is a glorious plant with that oh-so-recognizable taste and scent - and honestly it can be used in both savory and sweet dishes.  For example, don't some drinks have basil in them?  Maybe some type of strange mojito perhaps?  I swear I've heard of it.  Okay and even if I'm wrong, just go with it for now.  I just had a feeling that these cookies were going to be great.  I love anything with lemon, and I figured the basil would just add a nice subtle "something" to the cookie.

Surprise surprise: I was right :)  While everyone in the house was horrified at the idea of lemon basil cookies (Mom begged me not to make them), I tried them anyway, and these cookies were flavored with lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped basil.  The end result was a delightful little cookie, soft and buttery, with a hint of lemon and, as I had suspected, a little "something" else.  I don't think you can pick out the basil flavor; in fact, Pat, Ross and Joey came to visit that day and I had them try the cookies but didn't tell them the flavors.  None of them could guess on their first few tries, but Joey had spotted the flecks of green, and after mint was ruled out, he was able to guess basil.  However, everyone - even my critics! - agreed that the basil didn't stand out or take over.  And all of these cookies were gobbled up by the next day.  So I beg of you to give these cookies a try, even if they sound weird.  Sometimes the best things end up being the most unexpected (Bridget and Mark, anyone!?)


lemon basil sugar cookies
from The Way to His Heart
yield approximately 21 cookies

1 stick butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
zest from lemon
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt


1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silpat.

2) In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the egg, vanilla, lemon zest and basil until combined.

3) Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix until well combined.

4) Scoop the dough (about 2 tablespoons) and place on the prepared baking sheets.  Once all the dough has been used, place the cookie sheets into the refrigerator and chill for 10 minutes.

5) Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes.  You want to catch them before they get golden brown but make sure they no longer have a glossy sheen to them.

6) Allow the cookies to cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack.

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