Pesto Cookies

Frank Anzalone


  • 1/2 Cup  unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 Cup  sugar
  • large egg yolks
  • 1 Tablespoon  orange juice
  • 1 Tablespoon  orange zest
  • 1 Tablespoon  finely chopped basil, plus extra whole basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 Cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 Cup  finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup  grated Parmesan cheese

Inspired by the sauce from Genoa that may dress pasta or pizza, the cookie I’ve named Pesto is a savory, with walnuts and orange zest adding a twist on tradition. Fresh basil gives a bright finish to this shortbread-like cookie.


In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg yolks until blended. Mix in the orange juice, zest, and basil.

Mix together the flour, walnuts, and Parmesan in a small bowl and add to the butter mixture. Beat until just incorporated.

Form the dough into a log (about 2 inches in diameter) and wrap in parchment paper. Press the log on the counter to form a rectangular shape rather than a round shape. Freeze for 30 minutes or refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice the dough into ¼-inch-thick rectangles and place 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined or nonstick baking sheet.

Use kitchen scissors or a knife to cut small decorative basil leaf and press onto each cookie. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are light golden brown. Let sit for a few minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.


Calories per serving:

194 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Sodium Low Potassium, Kidney Friendly, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free, No Oil Added

Daily value:



  • Fat 127g 195%
  • Carbs 252g 84%
  • Saturated 72g 360%
  • Fiber 7g 28%
  • Trans 4g
  • Sugars 103g
  • Monounsaturated 34g
  • Polyunsaturated 13g
  • Protein 49g 98%
  • Cholesterol 651mg 217%
  • Sodium 813mg 34%
  • Calcium 841mg 84%
  • Magnesium 112mg 28%
  • Potassium 503mg 14%
  • Iron 11mg 64%
  • Zinc 4mg 30%
  • Phosphorus 822mg 117%
  • Vitamin A 1,096µg 122%
  • Vitamin C 21mg 35%
  • Thiamin (B1) 2mg 109%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 1mg 82%
  • Niacin (B3) 12mg 59%
  • Vitamin B6 0mg 19%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 438µg 110%
  • Vitamin B12 2µg 26%
  • Vitamin D 4µg 1%
  • Vitamin E 4mg 22%
  • Vitamin K 121µg 151%
See detailed nutritional info Have a question about nutritional data? Let us know.
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