A friend sent me a recipe last week for lemon shortbread cookies that sounded incredibly decadent, but a little time-consuming for a self-imposed ADD cook. Plus, while I adore lemon, the last few days I’ve had this vision in my head utilizing my cinnamon basil, which has been begging me to actually quit having only visions and to let it do its job.
Last night I had a EUREKA! moment. When I say last night, I pretty much mean this morning. I am not lying when I say that I think I have come up with the World’s fastest, easiest, delicious shortbread recipe. I started it at 11:45 pm and by 12:07 am the entire kitchen was cleaned up and I was curled up on the couch reading. I’m not lying. Seriously. And get this: these cookies rock. They actually don’t just rock, they rock and roll. I feel bad Better Half is not here to try these delectable, delicate morsels of yumminess. I’m not sure what made me realize that everything could just be thrown into the food processor and mixed together in less than a minute, but I make my pie crust that way, so it made sense to me. The additional of cornmeal was just a lark. An 1/8 cup is not a lot, but it definitely adds another dimension to the shortbread, but it’s a pretty yellow color which looks good against the green flecks of the basil.
I’m taking them to a friend’s house for lunch where yet another friend (a self-confessed “Basil Wh*^e”–his words, not mine!) will be joining us, and I’m hoping these cookies will win over both these healthy, skinny people! In fact, I think I will drop by another friend’s house on my way; she’s an excellent cook and sometimes unfortunately for me, brutally honest. I’m not worried; I think I have a winner here.
Try these, and tell me if you don’t think these are the World’s Easiest and Best Shortbread Cookies Ever!
Cinnamon Basil Shortbread Cookies
2 cups all-purpose (I use unbleached) flour
1/8 cup fine ground cornmeal
10 fresh cinnamon-basil leaves (+/-, depend. on your need for cinnamon basil)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon basil flowers, opt.
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 sticks cold butter, cut into pieces
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
Place first nine ingredients (everything but egg) into food processor and pulse until mixture resembles sand (see below pic). Add egg and pulse, scraping sides of bowl if necessary, until egg is incorporated into mixture. Form dough into a log about 2” in diameter, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in refrigerator overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut dough into 1/4″ slices and bake 7-10 minutes until bottom only of cookie is light golden brown. Cool on wire rack. Makes about 2.5 dozen cookies.