Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Lemon Basil Shortbread
Well, it's definitely summer here in Memphis. Despite the above-100 degree heat index, the horrible humidity, and the constant level of sweat, I absolutely love it. I am even loving the mosquito bites all over my legs, because you know what? It means that it's not winter. If I start complaining about the heat in August, just remind me of this, ok?
You know what else is just fantastic about the summertime? When friends who own a lakehouse in Mississippi call us and invite us down for a weekend. Yes, please. Cruising around on a pontoon boat and lazily floating in the lake all day, then coming back, cleaning up, and making dinner together makes for very happy people.
I wanted to thank our hosts for their hospitality (and of course sweeten the deal so that they invite us in the future!), so I baked up these cookies. Our basil plant is not looking to good (do bugs like basil? They sure seem to like ours), so I thought I should put it to good use.
You can press the dough into a pan and score it into squares right after baking, or you can be like me and decide to cut them out with a biscuit cutter. Which, I will warn you, makes for a tad bit oversized cookies. No matter, though...they are pretty darn tasty, no matter what the size. These crumbly cookies are wonderful in the warm afternoon sun on the lake, or as we discovered, with your morning coffee, sitting on the deck of a cabin in the middle of the woods, overlooking the lake. Can we go back yet?
Lemon Basil Shortbread
2 cups butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4-5 leaves fresh basil, chiffonaded (you could definitely increase this if you want it to be more basil-y)
zest from one large lemon (again, you could increase this if you love lemon)
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
4 cups flour
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cream the butter until smooth and creamy.
3. In a food processor, combine the granulated sugar, basil, lemon zest, and confectioner's sugar, using short pulses until everything is finely mixed.
4. Add the basil sugar mixture to the butter, and beat for another minute.
5. Gradually add one cup of flour at a time, mixing until just incorporated.
6. Press the dough into an ungreased cookies sheet. You can either a) use a cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to cut out the cookies and place the cookies on a clean, ungreased cookie sheet - and in this case you'll have to manipulate your scraps to get every last bit, or b) leave the dough uncut, and bake. This way, you can score the dough and cut them into squares right from the oven.
7. Bake for 15 minutes or until they are a nice light golden color. Enjoy!