Zesty Shortbread Cookies for Spring!

Hi there!  Happy Spring!  Yes, Spring is here, with flowers and sunshine and jelly beans everywhere you look, and although I have to carry a box of tissues where ever I go, I love the spring!  Spring for me means brighter, lighter flavors, something crisp and clear.  No more heavy, full and creamy flavors, the time for that has past–we have sunshine to keep us going now!   So when I decided to enter this cookie contest proposed by amazing blogger Baker Bettie (bakerbettie.com) I knew that I would have to bust out those bright flavors so that these cookies could put some “spring” in your step!

I loved the idea behind this contest, picking 2 ingredients that are not typical for sweet food and making them into a cookie–brilliant! (I actually picked three…) but my initial idea was to combine goat cheese and basil into a cookie…
and later I decided to add in the sour cherries because I really wanted a fruit glaze, so why not pick another ingredient off the list right?!
So without further ado–my cookies!  Lemon, Basil, Goat Cheese Shortbread Cookies with a Sour Cherry Glaze and Candied Basil!  A mouthful, I know, so I just call them…

Zesty Shortbread Cookies!
2/3 cups butter
1/3 cups goat cheese
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 packed tablespoon fresh lemon zest
1/4 fresh chopped basil
sour cherry glaze
candied basil

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Cream Butter and goat cheese together until fully combined and slightly fluffy then add brown sugar and beat on medium for 3-5 minutes.
3. Slowly add flour, until dough comes together.
4. Add in lemon zest and basil, stir to combine.
5. Line a 9×9 glass baking dish with parchment paper and spread dough out evenly. Take a fork and prick across the cookie dough.
5. Bake for 25 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool at least an hour before removing from pan (I cooled overnight).
6. Cut the shortbread into short sticks, dip one end in the sour cherry glaze and sprinkle with or roll in the candied basil. Lay on a cooling rack until glaze has solidified. OR in a bowl top the shortbread with the glaze and candied basil and dig in!

Sour Cherry Glaze
1 cup pitted sour cherries (if canned, drained and patted dry)
1 Tablespoon heavy cream (if needed)
about 3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Beat cherries in mixer until they are pulpy and juices have separated (about 2 min)
2. Add in powdered sugar  a 1/2 cup at a time, until the consistency is sticky and it dripped thickly from the beaters, if it is not glossy enough, add in the heavy cream beat thoroughly.
3. Add in vanilla and combine.

Candied Basil
1. Dice about 10 leaves of basil.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat combine 2 1/2 Tablespoons of water with a 1/2 cup of sugar, stir constantly until contents become clear and syrupy.
3. Add basil to sugar mixture and stir for a few seconds–20 seconds at most.
4.  Scoop out basil leaves and transfer to a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
5.  Put cookie sheet into an oven preheated to 200 degrees.  Bake until the sugar stops bubbling.
 
I hope you all enjoy these lovely Spring Cookies!!  Happy Spring! 

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3 thoughts on “Zesty Shortbread Cookies for Spring!

  1. Pingback: Cookies Wars 2012! “And the Winner is…” | Baker Bettie

  2. Hi Eliza, thanks for coming by my blog! It’s lovely to meet you. Such a creative use of the ingredients, I love the idea of lemon, basil and goats cheese in the shortbread.

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