Don't let the basil in the name scare you. It actually tastes really good! I was inspired to create this recipe by Albion Gould's lemon basil sugar cookies (also delicious, especially when topped with a lemon glaze)... and by the Mexican Basil (otherwise known as cinnamon basil) growing in my herb garden. One recipe makes a few dozen, which is technically bad news. That many cookies hanging out on my counter will definitely go to waist. ;) The good news is that they freeze fantastically well and the neighbors love occasional plates of cookies.
Now, for a confession. You know how all the other recipes on this blog are healthy? Yeah... well, there is nothing for the good of mankind in these cookies. Nada. Plus, I make them deceptively small, so you don't even realize you've eaten five (did I say five? I meant fifteen) until you start to see alarming gaps on the cooling rack. But, hey, what's life without an occasional yummalicious cookie binge?
One quick note about the basil before I give you the recipe. When the recipe says to chop it finely, I mean VERY finely. When I made it, I wasn't so diligent about that little detail, which resulted in some cookies being strong on basil and others with a decent balance of basil and cinnamon. I also leave it up to you to decide whether you want to add two tablespoons or three. If you want a mild basil flavor, stick with two. If you're feeling adventurous, add another spoonful. I wouldn't do much over three, though. The goal is a cookie with a friendly flavor with a suggestion of piquancy, not one with an overly strong "personality."
Cinnamon Basil Sugar Cookies
1 c. butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 drops cinnamon essential oil
2 tsp. water
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 pinch each of cardamon and allspice
2 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2-3 tbsp. Mexican Basil, FINELY chopped.
Sugar (for coating)
- Preheat the oven to 375*F.
- Thoroughly cream the butter and the sugar. Add the egg.
- Add the essential oil, water, cinnamon, cardamon, and allspice. Blend well.
- Mix in flour and baking powder until dough has formed and all the flour is mixed in.
- Add the Mexican Basil and stir until well-blended.
- Form dough into 1" balls and roll in sugar until cookies are well-coated.
- Place on a greased cookie sheet with a little room to spread and slightly flatten each dough ball.
- Bake for 9-10 minutes.