Baking / Recipes / Sweet

Lemon Lime Shortbread Cookies with Fresh Basil

I like single serving foods, particularly single serving desserts. I don’t eat a ton of sweets as it is, and when I make something large like a cake or a pie, I end up eating too much of it at once or letting it go to waste by not eating enough of it. We are also a two person household, so again, smaller is better. This is one of the reasons I like making cookies. They are easy to portion out, they never go to waste, and they can be eaten on the way out the door to a shoot. Genius.

For years I made one kind of cookie and one kind only: the family recipe for chocolate chippers that my dad has been making for me as long as I can remember. These days, while I still make a fair share of chippers, I’ve been experimenting with some different kinds of cookies. This week it was Lemon Lime Shortbread Cookies with Fresh Basil.

This recipe was originally published in Bon Appetit in July 2011 and is my kind of recipe. What’s my kind of recipe? The toss-everything-into-bowl-and-stir kind of recipe. In this case, the bowl is a food processor, but essentially you just pulse all of the ingredients until they come together. The result is a semi-sweet, crunchy cookie with a strong citrus punch that is made richer by the subtle basil flavor which shows up as an after taste. The fact that they aren’t super sweet makes them feel nice and light, and go well with a cup of hot tea. The original recipe makes 16 cookies – I doubled it up, because, well, why not. If you’re gonna have to wash the food processor, you might as well make a double recipe.

When the dough comes out of the food processor it is a lovely shade of green from the basil and the lime zest. Unfortunately, that beautiful green color disappears in the oven. But they are delicious despite their final pedestrian coloring.


Lemon Lime Shortbread Cookies with Fresh Basil

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2011


2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup powdered sugar plus more for pressing cookies
1 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
4 tablespoons sliced fresh basil leaves
2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
4 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Demarara or sanding sugar for topping

Preheat the oven to 375. Pulse all of the ingredients together in a food processor until you have a wet, clumpy dough. It takes a little longer than you think. If the dough seems dry, add a little extra lemon juice. Measure level tablespoons of the dough, and roll into balls. Place balls on a baking sheet, then using the bottom of a flat measuring cup, press the balls flat into 2 inch circles. Sprinkle demarara sugar on top. Bake for 20 minutes until edges start to brown, then cool on a baking rack.

Makes about 32 cookies.

One final note: After a moderately calm summer, my schedule has gotten really busy, in a good way. I am happy to say that in September I have a lot of projects on the books – I’m gonna be hustling for the next few weeks. I’ll be skipping around the country photographing food and making portraits. It’s probably going to be exhausting, but you’ll hear no complaints here. I love my job! The point is, posting may get a little slow here on the blog this fall as I point my camera at what other people are cooking instead of my own creations.

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