It's a little late in the season for basil — although I've still seen thriving bunches in the store — but when I saw this recipe for Lemon-Basil Snaps, I knew I had to share it with you. From the look of things, it seems to be a cross between a cookie and a savory biscuit. Call me crazy, but I think this is exactly the sort of recipe that would be worth giving around the holidays. Can you imagine the reaction you'll receive — assuming you can get your hands on some fresh basil — when you present someone with a basil cookie? If you're feeling adventurous give this recipe a try, just

Lemon-Basil Snaps
From Southern Living magazine, November 2005

3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup minced fresh lemon basil leaves*
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup finely chopped pistachio nuts
3 tablespoons sugar

Makes 3 dozen

  1. Beat butter at medium speed with electric mixer until fluffy; add 3/4 cup sugar, beating well. Add egg and next 3 ingredients, beating until blended.
  2. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually add to butter mixture, beating until blended. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  3. Combine nuts and 3 tablespoons sugar in a shallow bowl.
  4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls; roll in nut mixture, and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Flatten slightly with hands or bottom of a glass.
  5. Bake at 350° for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

*Fresh sweet basil may be substituted.