Orange, Basil and Mint Shortbread Cookies
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, (cut into 1/2” cubes)
2 tablespoons fresh diced basil leaves
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1/2 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
Making The Dough:
- Sift flour, powdered sugar and salt to remove any lumps and combine well.
- Chop the fresh basil (I don’t recommend using dried)
- Chop the fresh mint
- Grate the orange zest
- Combine all dry and wet ingredients, herbs and zest, add the butter slices into food processor and pulse (or mix by hand in bowl) until a bit crumbly, but easily shapes into a ball without being too greasy.
- Wrap in cling-wrap and chill for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Preheat oven to 325°F
- Roll the dough until about 1/4” thickness all around.
- Using a fluted-cookie cutter (2 5/8” diameter yielded two dozen perfectly!) cut the circles
- line two baking pans with parchment paper, and line the cookies into 3x4 rows across.
- Bake for 13-14minutes until light golden brown.
- Allow to cool on baking pan for 5 minutes before moving to wire rack.
- Cool on wire rack until completely cool.
1 package cream cheese
1 cup of sugar
3 tablespoons of water
4-5 medium fresh basil leaves
4-5 medium fresh mint leaves
1 teaspoon orange extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 teaspoon salt
6-8 drops yellow food coloring
3-4 drops red food coloring (or until desired orange color)
To Make Icing:
- Using a mixer with the whisk, beat the creamcheese for 10 - 12 minutes or until whipped
- Combine the sugar and water in a sauce pot and heat on low
- chop the basil and mint and add to sugar and water, keep stirring to help dissolve sugar.
- Add the orange and vanilla extract to sugar and water, keep stirring
- Keep on low heat until a boil starts, at this point simple syrup should be fairly thick, light amber in color. Remove from heat and transfer to bowl, strain the basil and mint leaves. (You can either eat the candied herbs or save for garnishing later…whichever you like!)
- Add a few drops of yellow and red food coloring, to make desired orange (color will be fairly muted once added to cream cheese)
- Allow the sugar syrup to cool (about 10 - 15 minutes before adding to creamcheese in mixer. You’ll only need about 4 tablespoons of the flavored syrup. Turn the mixer to medium speed and slowly pour the syrup to combine well with cream cheese.
- Sift together cornstarch and powdered sugar to remove lumps. Slowly add a little bit at a time into the cream cheese mixture, scraping the sides as you go. Combine well and reduce speed as mixture thickens.
- You should have a fairly thick, yet still pliant mixture. You can either add to piping bag and get fancy, or use a spatula and smooth it over. You’ll have some left overs, so if you make the recipe again you will still have icing saved over.