This time of year, I start craving flavors like fresh basil. In pasta. In pesto. In omlettes. In anything with tomatoes. I love the bright pop of flavor it gives to any recipe. You know, like in cookies.
For realsies! In cookies!
In one of my recent wanderings at my beloved farmer’s market (are you tired of hearing about my weekly trips down there yet??), I was chatting with the folks at Ottmers Family Farms about their produce. They always have a great, seasonal selection, evidenced by my foray into using their fresh and fabulous Garlic Scapes this Spring. One herb they had available was Cinnamon Basil. I’d never used it, so I had to try it!
As soon as I got home I started googling recipes. This particular varietal has a spicier flavor than its’ more recognized and used cousin, but not spicy as in “hot”–spicy as in “warm and earthy”. So when I stumbled on these cookies, I knew I had something to play with. To the kitchen!
While I am someone who famously never actually follows a recipe, when it comes to baking, I am less inclined to play mad scientist. It’s so much more precise that I find it’s better to follow along to ensure I don’t wind up with burnt cakes or under-baked blobs. One change up was that I left out the pistachios mentioned in the original recipe. Since I intended to share these goodies, I didn’t want to take a chance that someone may have a nut allergy.
I think what I liked most about this ingredient, as well as the final product, was the confused look of intrigue on the face of everyone who tried them. Folks were trying to figure out what that curious-yet-familiar flavor was (“Is that lime? Is that pepper? Is that cinnamon?”) and with each additional bite, many came down on the side of really liking these goodies.
I say give them a try yourself and experiment with this great variety of basil. Cinnamon Basil Cookies are a revelation, and a surprisingly yummy treat!