Confession – I am ardently in love with fresh basil. Head over heels. Smitten kitten. I want to marry it. All of those things.
Basil is wonderful in many Italian dishes and paired with its BFF’s, tomato and mozzarella, but basil is also a marvelous ingredient in buttery cookies, especially when you also add in the citrus tang of lemon and lime zests.
I found this recipe a little odd. The dough comes together in a food processor, similar to making pie dough. The recipe said the dough would form “moist clumps,” but mine wouldn’t hold together to form a ball, so I added in 2 teaspoons of milk to make it wet enough to shape into balls.
The extra milk is probably why the cookies stayed a little moist in the middle, so if I make these again I will poke a few holes in the center of the cookies with a toothpick before I bake them .
Overall, if you love basil like I do, you will want to experiment with these cookies so you can enjoy the burst of fresh basil, citrus and butter when you bite into them.
Citrus Basil Butter Cookies
Adapted from Bon Appetit
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar, plus more for pressing cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons sliced fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons milk
Sanding sugar (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
- Combine the flour, sugar, butter, basil, zests, lemon juice, and salt in the bowl if a food processor and pulse a few times to combine. If you don’t have a food processor, whir in a blender.
- Slowly drizzle in the milk until dough just comes together.
- Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and arrange on baking sheets, leaving 2″ between each.
- Take a flat-bottom measuring cup and lightly cover it in additional powdered sugar, then press onto each ball of dough to lightly flatten it.
- Sprinkle tops of the dough with coarse sanding sugar, if desired.
- Using a toothpick or piece of raw spaghetti, poke a few holes in the center of each cookie.
- Bake until the edges are brown, around 12-15 minutes.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Yield: 16 cookies