Lemon Basil Butter Cookies? The sweet and savory didn’t sound like a winning combination at first, but I needed something a little bit different for my Christmas cookie shipments. Afraid that they might turn out too gourmet, I checked for reviews online. The recipe didn’t turn up only on the Epicurious-style sites, and normal people commented that the butter cookies had been a hit.
So, I stirred up a test batch to let people in the office, as well as my family, sample. As the aroma of the basil mixed with the sweet smell of sugar, my confidence increased…maybe I shouldn’t have divided the recipe down to 1/4 the original quantity.
My next batch might end up with a slightly different shape so that they look prettier…but that would add time to the prep, and the basil flecks and sprinkled sugar might be enough.
So far 4 out of 4 taste testers approve.
1 cup fresh basil leaves
¼ cups + 1 T sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 T lemon juice
1/4 large egg (interpret that however you can. The original recipe made 4xs as much.)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Chop basil extremely finely. Toss the pieces with the flour so that they are evenly distributed; a fork would help.
In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and egg. Cut the butter mixture into the flour with a pastry blender, as you would when preparing a pie crust. When you have corn-kernel-sized pieces, add the lemon juice and stir the ingredients together. Finish by gathering the dough together with your hands; their warmth helps it hold into a smooth ball.
Roll dough to an even thickness of 1/2″. Sprinkle the dough with sugar. I passed a pasta rolling pin lightly over the top to make a striped design. Cut the dough into uniform shapes. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on lightly greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350° for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.