Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies

St. Patty’s is big at our house.  Huge!  Mike was raised Irish Catholic and we both have Celtic heritage.  Mike’s family is Irish & German and I’m Scottish, English, and French.  My grandpa is big into genealogy and he got my dad’s (Irish, or so we thought) family one generation to Scotland and then the records stop.  SO I just say Celtic at this point.  🙂

Anywho, since we love St. Patty’s so much and since I love you all so much I’m having a countdown to St. Patrick’s Day!  Lots of green and shamorck inspired posts to get you in the Irish spirit everyday for the rest of the week.  Woo!  To get us started ~ green-ish cookies.  

I saw this recipe in my aunt’s Bon Appetit magazine back in June.  The flavor combination sounded so interesting, I couldn’t pass these cookies up.  They have green flecks and that makes them totally acceptable for this holiday.  With St. Patty’s is only six days away, you’d better get to baking hunny!

Lemon-Lime Basil Cookies 1

Lemon-Lime Basil Shortbread Cookies

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 18 cookies
Author Bon Appetit


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar plus more for pressing cookies
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves chiffonade
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Sanding sugar optional


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, butter, basil, both zests, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until large, moist clumps form. {If you don’t have a food processor, use a fork to cut together ingredients until moist clumps form.}
  3. Measure level tablespoonfuls of dough; roll between you palms for for balls. Place on a large baking sheet, spacing 2″ apart.
  4. Lightly dust the bottom of a flat measuring cup (or glass) with powdered sugar and press cookies into 2″ rounds, dusting cup bottom with powdered sugar as needed to prevent sticking. Sprinkle tops of cookies with sanding sugar, if desired.
  5. Bake until edge are brown, about 14 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.


Lemon-Lime Basil Cookies 2

My cookies baked up with a dark brown ring around the outside.  I used the lid of a Lawry’s seasoned salt container to cut out the cookies.  Then I used the spatula to gently scrape off any excess brown around the edge.  Don’t worry if this happens to you too.

And…these cookies are super basily.  I know that’s not a word, but it is for these cookies.  You’ll get that hint of citrus, but the basil is like KAPOW!  Eater beware. 


  1. says

    I love basil- but not sure how it would be in cookies. Sounds interesting though- something new to try! Thanks for linking up with Scout's Sweet Sundays- I will see you at your party tomorrow!!

  2. says

    Darn Bon Appetit magazine making everything look amazing and sound scrumptious. Haha. These get filed in “not the worst idea ever, but I don't know that I'd make them again” pile.

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