Yup. It’s Sunday, not Saturday. I DID make these uber-yummy little cookies yesterday, though, so technically….well, no matter. This recipe came from a little stack of cards in which each recipe uses herbs. Fresh off my Basil Lemonade binge, this one caught my eye. They are now my official favorite cookie–absolutely as yummy as chocolate chip, but in a fresh, light, summery sort of way. The sort of cookies you might serve with tea….while wearing a pretty hat. Or perhaps the sort of cookie you just make and eat because they’re just so amazingly yummy.
Convinced? Then round up a few things from the pantry and run to the garden for a big handful of basil:
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 TBSP grated lemon zest (One lemon, just the pretty yellow outside–the white part is bitter!)
- 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice (From the same lemon–grate the zest first, then juice it, straining off the seeds.)
- 1/3 cup minced basil leaves
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the “topping”:
- 1/3 cup finely chopped pistachios
- 3TBSP sugar
Be sure your knife is sharp (a dull knife will bruise the basil–turning it black). Finely chop the basil by first stacking the leaves, then rolling them tightly into little sticks, then making thin slices of the stick (this creates a chiffonade), then cutting through the chiffonade crossways to make tiny basil confetti. Set aside.
(I just do NOT know why the center photo will not align with the others when there is obviously plenty of room and the editor allows for left-center-right alignment. I just spent the last hour trying to fix this. Alas, it is beyond my skill set. Grrrrrrr! Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.)
Grate the zest from the lemon and juice it. Set the zest and juice aside. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat well.
Add egg, lemon zest, lemon zest and basil. Mix to combine. Add flour, soda and salt. Mix until completely combined.
The dough will look like this. Cover and chill one hour. Just before the hour is up, preheat oven to 350F.
Finely chop pistachios and combine with sugar.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls. I use a cookie scooper to help keep them uniform. Roll each ball in the sugar–nut mixture.
Place balls two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and flatten slightly with your hands or a glass.
Place in oven, bake 9-12 minutes until golden. Cool on a wire rack.
Cool completely and enjoy the tender, ever-so-slightly-sweet lemon cookies with a hint of basil spice. I piled a few up on one of the square dessert plates from my Great-Aunt Katrine’s china–pretty!
The recipe says you’ll end up with 3 dozen. I ended up with a few less, perhaps being a bit too generous with my cookie scoop. It’s difficult to eat just one. We did share with friends, but both Michael and I love them so much, we’re down to just over a dozen already! I think Lemon Basil Snaps would make a lovely and unusual gift from your garden. (Especially when your friends will no longer accept the “gift” of an over-sized zucchini!) Can’t you just see them in a pretty box with some pale yellow or green tissue paper?!