Shortbread Cookies with Citrus and Basil

July 25, 2011

Aunt Suzy says . . .

The recipe for these cookies caught my eye in the July issue of Bon Appetit.  I sent them to my blog partner, Margaux, but decided to make them myself today after over-buying basil at the farmer’s market yesterday.  I love shortbread and thought that the combination of lemon-lime and basil looked intriguing.  I was not disappointed!  So if it’s not too hot to bake where you are, these are a refreshing summer cookie option!


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar plus more for pressing cookies
  • 1/2 cup (1stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ 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 kosher salt
  • Sanding sugar (optional


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

The original recipe said to put everything except the sanding sugar into a food processor and pulse until large, moist clumps form.  Since I don’t have a food processor, I placed the flour, half cup of powdered sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and blended with a whisk.  I used a pastry cutter to blend in the butter, then added the basil, citrus zest and lemon juice.  I then used a hand mixer to smooth the dough out a little, ending up with pea-size clumps.  Whichever method you use, now form the dough into walnut-size balls between your palms.  Place those on an ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

Dip the flat bottom of a glass or measuring cup into powdered sugar (so the dough won’t stick) and then press the dough to about 2-inch circles.  If you are using sanding sugar, sprinkle a little on top after cookies are pressed out.  I recommend this and used evaporated cane juice sugar sold in bulk at the coop – any large crystal sugar will work.  Bake for 14-17 minutes in the center of the oven until the edges of the cookies start to brown.  Cool completely on a baking rack before serving.  The recipe stated this would make about 16 cookies, but I ended up with 11 – no surprise since I’ve been known to make cookies larger than prescribed!


One Response to “Shortbread Cookies with Citrus and Basil”

  1. These do look delicious. I will have to keep this in mind and tweak it a bit for GF/DF cookie option. Yum

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