Lemon Basil Gems

Two years ago, I spent my July in South Dakota on an Indian Reservation.


My parents came to visit, and my mom brought lemon basil sugar cookies.   They were awesome.

IMG_20140617_155716790_HDRThis year we are growing basil on our balcony.  Seeing all that basil each day had me craving those cookies.  I’m not sure where her recipe came from, so I adapted my favorite lemon cookie recipe instead.



Yield: about 5 dozen


3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup finely diced basil (start with 1/2 cup packed basil leaves and then dice to end up with about 1/4 of a cup)

2 cups all-purpose flour

Sanding sugar


Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer until fluffy. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, and basil beating on medium speed until combined. Gradually add flour to creamed mixture and mix until well combined.

Cover dough and place in refrigerator for 1 hour or until easy to handle.

On a silicone mat, roll dough into a log with a diameter of about 1.5 inches.  Roll the log in sanding sugar until evenly coated and then wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for 2-3 hours.

Preheat oven to 375° F. Unwrap the dough and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices. Place slices on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 9-11 minutes or until edges lightly browned.*  Let cookies stand for 1 minute on baking sheet before moving to wire racks to cool.

*For a softer cookie, bake on a silpat lined baking sheet for 11 minutes or until edges are set.



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