cinnamon basil shortbread cookies

on a whim, i bought a cinnamon basil plant early this summer when i picked up my lemon and italian basils. lucky for me, the cinnamon basil took off, and is now a huge bush overflowing from it's spot in the garden. i just don't know what the heck to do with it all!

i've looked high and low for recipes that use it - hasn't anyone else ever gotten sucked in by the cinnamoney aroma? i guess not. because there really isn't much out there for suggestions. so i did the only logical thing - added it to shortbread. my favorite, most requested by my friends and family cookie recipe.

surprisingly, it came out pretty well. i needed a lot of cinnamon basil for twelve cookies - about a full cup of loosely packed leaves - and the flavor was really great. subtle cinnamon with a nice herbalness to it.

love shortbread, but aren't a fan of cinnamon basil? then check out my lemon shortbread. or lemon curd shortbread sandwiches. or omit the cinnamon basil and add 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips. or 1/4 teaspoon almond extract and some finely chopped almonds. they're all great combinations.

cinnamon basil shortbread cookies
adapted from ina garten's shortbread cookies

1 cup loosely packed cinnamon basil leaves, finely minced
8 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
pinch of salt
  1. cream the butter, sugar, and cinnamon basil until light and fluffy, about three minutes. add the vanilla.
  2. with the mixer on low speed, add the salt and then slowly add the flour until incorporated.
  3. turn the dough out onto a piece of wax paper, parchment, or plastic wrap (my fav). roll into a log about 2 inches in diameter (roll it wider or skinnier depending on how big you want your cookies). roll the log in your paper/wrap.
  4. chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours. i always make my dough a couple hours before i plan to bake it.
  5. when it's time to bake, preheat your oven to 350F.
  6. use a sharp knife to cut the dough log into slices. the thicker your slices, the thicker your cookies.
  7. arrange on an ungreased baking sheet. they will spread a little when baking, but not much.
  8. bake about 12 minutes. cool on the sheet for a couple minutes, then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. they're soft when still warm and firm up as they cool.


  1. I've never heard of cinnamon basil! I'm going to have to look for this next spring/summer. How strong is the cinnamon flavor? Let me know if you think of any other ways to use it, I'm very intrigued!

  2. Isn't that the truth? I've been wondering what to do with my pots and pots of cinnamon basil. I found one blog that used it in lieu of sweet basil in pesto. She said it was good.

    I'd do cookies, but that's a little advanced for my cooking skills.

    Have you tried cinnamon basil tea? I think I've read about it months ago. I haven't tried it myself though.

  3. These are delicious! I made a double batch, since my cinnamon basil plant had that much that needed to be picked, and I'm so glad I did. Now I can't wait for the basil to grow enough to make more ^_^


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