These Apricot Basil Shortbread Cookies may sound like an odd combo, but after the first batch I know you will be making more! They have zesty citrus flavor with a touch of sweet basil. Apricot cookies are the perfect addition to a cup of tea at an afternoon party.
Baking With Basil
This shortbread cookie recipe has two tablespoons of freshly chopped sweet basil. Mixed with the citrus notes of orange zest and dried apricots the basil adds a hint of sweet mint and cloves flavor when baked. Trust me you will be scarfing these cookies just as quickly as I did!
What do Apricot Basil Cookies taste like?
The flavor of these cookies is mainly apricot and orange. Basil brings a sweet almost spicy mint flavor to the strong citrus. When sweet basil is eaten raw it can have a peppery taste, but when baked its more of a minty clove. So using basil in cookies creates a fresh balance.
Try these Dried Apricots :
What are Shortbread Cookies?
Shortbread cookies use a large amount of butter to create their texture. Without the use of leavening agents like baking powder, the cookies retain their shape easily without spreading. Hence the term “short” meaning they do not rise
Tips for Shortbread Apricot Cookies:
- Dust your countertop and rolling pin with flour to prevent sticking.
- I used a 2 inch flower cookie cutter, but feel free to use any shape or size.
- Bake cookies on the middle rack.
- I keep a close eye on them and remove just when the edges start to show a little browning.
- They will be a little soft, but firm as they cool.
How to Store Shortbread Cookies
Store cooled apricot shortbread cookies in an air tight container at room temperature for up to a week or keep in the fridge for 10 days of freshness.
They can also be stored in the freezer by placing in a freezer safe plastic bag for up to 3 months. Let cookies thaw to room temperature before serving.
How to Minimize Cookie Spreading
- Make sure to chill the dough before baking – The butter in the cookies must be properly chilled before baking. Cold cookies prevent the butter from melting too quickly which causes the cookies to spread.
- Never place the cookies on a warm tray – ALWAYS use a room temperature or chilled baking tray. A warm tray will cause the butter to melt to fast.
- Don’t bake the cookies at a low temperature – While some cookies do well at 325 F , I have raised the temp to 350 F to ensure the cookies set quickly and prevent too much spreading.
Apricot Basil Shortbread Cookies
- ¾ Cup (190 grams) Unsalted Butter softened at room temperature
- ⅔ Cup (165 grams) Granulated Sugar pulsed in food processor to be extra fine
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 2 ½ Tablespoons Orange Zest
- 2 Tablespoons Fresh Sweet Basil Leaves chopped
- 2 ¼ Cups (282 grams) All Purpose Flour
- ⅛ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- ½ Cup (95 g) Dried Apricots chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 F (176 C) and line two cookies sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- Place butter and sugar to bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Beat on medium low speed until smooth. Don't over beat the butter and sugar. Too much air will cause the cookies to spread.
- Add orange zest, chopped basil, salt, and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
- Next, add flour a cup at a time while continue to mix on low speed until a soft cookie dough is formed. Scrape sides and bottom of mixing bowl as needed.
- Add chopped apricots and mix a couple spins to fold into cookie dough.
- Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface. Shape into disc with hands. Roll cookie dough to ¼ inch thickness.
- Use your cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as you can.
- Transfer cookies to cooled baking trays. Place cookies 1-2 inches apart. Set cookie trays in fridge for dough to firm for about 20 minutes before baking.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes or until edges start to golden in color. Bake time may differ between ovens, so keep an eye on the first batch.
- Set cookies on cooling rack for 10-15 minutes before serving.