When I got home, I took a small leaf of basil, wrapped it around a little piece of ginger and popped it in my mouth. Can you hear the choirs of angels singing?? Well, I sure did. The flavor was incredible. That sweet, almost licorice note from the basil with the mild, sweet heat from the crystalized ginger made me sit up and sing.
So, I made the basic shortbread cookie dough, and kept the vanilla in the mix, but added 2 teaspoons of dried basil and 1/2 cup of minced crystalized ginger. Baked them and before the cookies could cool off and have the royal icing applied to them, my husband at 7 of them, right off the cookie sheet. He unhinged his jaw and they were G-O-N-E, gone!!!!
Now, the next time I make these, I will use fresh basil to see what happens with the favor and will let y'all know how that turns out.
But in the mean time.....these are pretty darn great. Taste testers loved them. One person was not that fussy about them, but she is not crazy about ginger. Most importantly, I have several other flavor combinations up my sleeve for this simple cookie dough and as I work through the recipes and the amounts of ingredients, I will post them for you.
In the mean time, please try this flavor combination......they are phenomenal. Here is the entire recipe for you:
This recipe makes 30 cookies
For the cookies
1 cup of butter at room temperature
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons of dried basil
1/2 cup of minced crystalized ginger
Beat until completely mixed
Then, add 2 1/4 cups flour, a pinch of salt and beat until mixed
Preheat oven to 400' F.
Shape dough into 1 inch balls and flatten into discs, about 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick
Place 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet and bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown
I frosted my cookies with royal icing, but you can frost them with any plain icing that you like.
Royal Icing - These amounts have been adjusted for the recipe so that not very much is left over
1 teaspoon meringue powder
1 - 1/4 cups of confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup water mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
Mix the meringue powder into the powdered sugar, add 1/8 of the water and vanilla mixture to start with and beat on medium with a hand held mixer until mixed and thickened a bit fluffy. You may or may not need a little bit more of the vanilla water that remains.
Spread about 1 teaspoon of icing on each cookie and let the icing dry. This icing will dry to a firm consistency, but will not be so hard that it will crack or crumble. You can use a bit more if you like. Also, using a pastry bag with a very small tip works well too.
From my purple kitchen to you!!!