Lemon Basil Sugar Cookies

There are a few things that I’m not very good at. One of them is rolling out sugar cookies. It’s an unfortunate thing because I really LOVE sugar cookies. In all of the recipes and variations that I’ve attempted, I’ve never been able to pinpoint why I can’t roll out a thin layer of dough and successfully cut it with a dinosaur shaped cutter. It’s just not meant to be.

I love that you can see the basil and lemon zest. So pretty!!

This hasn’t discouraged me from making sugar cookies though. My sugar cookies just aren’t in fun shapes. They’re round and that’s how I like them. Round. Round sugar cookies are just as delicious as cowboy boot cookies. At least that’s what I’ll continue telling myself (and the kids) until the day that I’m able to master cookie cutters. At that point, I’m sure that I’ll go into deep philosophical discussions about how heart shaped cookies taste superior to fire truck cookies.  In the meantime, I’m just happy to eat sugar cookies!

This is Alton Brown’s basic sugar cookie recipe that has been modified a bit to add some UMPH. It’s versatile enough to take on a wide variety of flavors.  Here I’ve added lemon zest, lemon juice and basil. 

Lemon Basil Sugar Cookies

Lemon Basil Sugar Cookies


3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, room temperature, beaten
1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon lemon extract (substitute vanilla if you don’t have lemon)
Zest from 1 lemon
Juice from 1 lemon
4 pods frozen TJ’s basil (or about 2 tablespoons of very finely chopped fresh basil)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
1. Put the basil pods on a plate and bring to room temperature (this will take about 15 minutes)
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. 
3. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. 
4. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. 
5. Add lemon extract, lemon juice, lemon zest and defrosted basil and beat to combine. 
6. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. 
7. Line a baking sheet (or two) with parchment paper.
8. Using a 1.5 teaspoon ice cream scoop, scoop dough onto cookie sheet, leaving at least 1 inch between each dough ball. Bake for approximately 8 minutes, until the bottom just starts to brown. (Don’t over brown. They’ll harden as they cool down.)
9. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Eat, Drink & Be Yummy!


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