Lemony Sage and Basil-Flecked Cookies

Jul 28th, 2017 | By | Category: baking and desserts, blog, cook something
Lemony Sage Basil-Flecked Cookies, Photo by Jeff Stockton

Lemony Sage Basil-Flecked Cookies, Photo by Jeff Stockton

Inspiration for sweet treats can come from almost anywhere, including the garden.

Janice Elder took her culinary cue from the herb garden to develop this recipe for Lemony Sage and Basil-Flecked Cookies.

Janice, who lives and bakes in Charlotte, North Carolina, entered this original cookie recipe in the 2007 Freixenet Holiday Recipe Contest. You may be familiar with Freixenet  (pronounced fresh-eh-net )—it is the sparkling wine in the black bottle.

Janice says she had been experimenting with infusing sugar with various herbs in the blender “some translate better than others” when she discovered that basil’s flavor infused the sugar nicely.

She said  it was not  “overwhelmingly herbal for dessert usage.”

To jazz it up a bit, Janice added a small amount of sage for a blended effect.

“Lemon, sage and basil seemed like a good marriage, so I found a nice lemon-cream cheese cookie recipe that I had used for years and the rest is history. ”

She says she is still astonished that such a simple cookie won one of the two grand prizes in a dessert contest, but, as she says, “it is a pretty darn good cookie.”

We wholeheartedly agree.

Lemony Sage and Basil-Flecked Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies


  • 1 cup sugar, divided use
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (11.25 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 sticks (8 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon zest
  • Additional granulated sugar


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  • Julienne basil or sage leaves or strips of lemon zest (optional)


  1. In bowl of a food processor, process 1/4 cup of the sugar, basil and sage until very well blended; set aside.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and cream cheese. Add remaining 3/4 cup sugar until fluffy. Add egg, lemon juice and zest; gradually add flour and basil/sugar mixtures. Chill dough for 1 hour. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten with the bottom of a glass dipped in granulated sugar.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 9 to 12 minutes, or until set. Remove to wire racks.
  5. Whisk together glaze ingredients; spread over cooled cookies. Garnish with basil, sage or lemon zest.

NOTE: Click here for some cookie-making tips.

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