Basil Lemon Cornmeal Cookies

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Basil isn’t just for savory Italian dishes—it’s a great herb to use in desserts, pairing nicely with citrus, ginger, or stone fruits. We decided to go the citrus route and offer up a simple summer cookie.

Our take on basil lemon cornmeal cookies are excellent tea or coffee cookies. They’re sweet, but not overwhelmingly so. And they’re substantial enough to stand up to dunking.


1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon salt
12 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
1¼ cups sugar, divided
2 TBSP basil, finely chopped
1 large egg
1½ TBSP lemon juice



Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or silpats. Set aside.

In a food processor or blender blend 3/4 cup sugar and 1½ TBSP In a small bowl until sugar appears green. Cream basil sugar mixture with butter until light and fluffy. Then mix in egg, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

Blend remaining ½ cup of sugar and ½ TBSP of basil and set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, and salt. Then mix into butter, basil, sugar mixture until well combined.

Roll dough into 1½-inch balls, and roll in remaining ½ cup basil sugar. Place 1½ inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Using a flat-bottomed glass (dipped in water), slightly flatten each dough ball.

Bake until edges are golden brown, 16-18 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Should make about 2 dozen cookies.