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.
- 1/2 Cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 Cup sugar
- 2 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
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.