Pesto Cookies

Pesto Cookies
Staff Writer

Frank Anzalone

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

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.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
13g
19%
Sugar
3g
3%
Saturated Fat
3g
13%
Cholesterol
14mg
5%
Carbohydrate, by difference
21g
16%
Protein
4g
9%
Vitamin A, RAE
15µg
2%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
1mg
1%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
5µg
6%
Calcium, Ca
111mg
11%
Choline, total
7mg
2%
Fiber, total dietary
2g
8%
Folate, total
18µg
5%
Iron, Fe
1mg
6%
Magnesium, Mg
32mg
10%
Phosphorus, P
131mg
19%
Selenium, Se
5µg
9%
Sodium, Na
382mg
25%
Water
22g
1%
Zinc, Zn
1mg
13%

Pesto Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Pesto Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.