Cookies, Dessert, Recipes

Lemon Basil Sugar Cookies

Lemon Basil Sugar Cookies (4)

For my first Bakin’ Friends package, I couldn’t just be ordinary. I needed something fun and different, a way to show I was worthy to be invited into their special club. When I heard the secret ingredient was sprinkles, I was honestly crushed at first. Sprinkles means cupcakes! There was no way I was attempting to send cupcakes through the mail—they barely make it to New Jersey via car safely. The second most logical option was cookies. Sugar cookies with royal icing and sprinkles.

Since cupcakes, my forte wasn’t an option, I figured the next best thing was to make homemade sprinkles. The recipes I came across were pretty simple. Color royal icing, pipe it into a thin line, dry and cut. I could handle that. Though apparently Mother Nature wasn’t so into the idea. The week I chose to bake was a recording breaking heat wave. The temperature was in the high 90s with humidity compounding it, making the days hot and sticky, and well above 100°F. There was no way sprinkles would try even if I left them out for days. I was luck to get the icing to dry, well, sort of dry.

Cupcakes were out as were homemade sprinkles. My creativity became stifled. It was only when I turned to my miniature urban garden that inspiration finally struck. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of mixing sweet and savory, ever since I ordered a tomato tart with basil ice cream for dessert at Artisanal. Remembering those bright basil flavors, I decided to go with lemon basil sugar cookies. The sprinkles and icing were both purchased, due to the heat, but next time will be all from scratch. I’m thinking these would make a delicious early fall treat.

Lemon Basil Sugar Cookies (1)

Lemon Basil Sugar Cookies (Makes about 3 dozen)

  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon powder
  • 1 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 c (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c fresh basil, minced

Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift flour, baking soda, salt and lemon powder in a medium bowl. Set aside. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream sugar and butter on low speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between each. Add in flour mixture, half at a time, until fully combined. Stir in basil.

Lemon Basil Sugar Cookies (3)

Form dough into 1-inch balls and flatten slightly on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Lemon Basil Sugar Cookies (2)

Cool cookies completely on a wire rack. Frost with royal icing and cover with sprinkles (and maybe some candied violets). Let icing dry 1 hour before enjoying.

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10 thoughts on “Lemon Basil Sugar Cookies”

  1. It’s quite weird reading about your heatwave whilst I’m sitting, wrapped in a blanket on my freezing cold couch! 🙂 Sorry to hear about the baking woes though… argh, we get super hot summers here in Australia so I’ve experienced the same thing many times. Your cookies look gorgeous though. I love the use of herbs in sweet desserts so these sound perfectly beautiful in every way! I look forward to seeing your homemade sprinkles in the future… what an awesome idea! xx

    1. Maybe you can send a bit of cold over here and I can share the heat to balance things out? Actually this week has been quite lovely. Low humidity and barely breaking 80 each day. If summer was always like this I’d never complain!

    1. Thanks so much! I had a vision of green sprinkles, to match the basil, but when I got to our baking store, the green color was all wrong. I don’t know what possessed me to get purple, but that plus the green sugar worked out well. And the violets never hurt.

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