Cookie Monster: Basil Cornmeal Sandwich Cookies with Apricot Filling
Typically when I approach my mother's basil plant, I come at it like an Army hairdresser to a new recruit: the thing leaves shorn to the scalp and practically bald. (Hey, it's a fact of life when you like to eat pesto straight out of the bowl.) This time, I decided to be lenient and use just a few of the larger leaves. Which happens to be enough to make these cookies.
I don't know where I got the idea for these cookies—other than that it's summer and I've got corn and basil on the brain. I didn't want to include actual corn (though that's an idea worth playing around with) so I used cornmeal, which happens to lend the cookies a fantastic sandy texture. Now to the question you're probably wondering: can you taste the basil? Like, really taste the basil, just as you would in any other dish? The answer is pretty much, yes. You can cut back on the herb if you like, but the amount I added (about 3 tablespoons of diced herb for 2 dozen sandwiches) imparts a distinct basil-y, earthy, licorice meets menthol flavor. I've never had basil in a cookie before, and it's definitely unique.
Sandwiching the cookies over apricot jam was the natural way to highlight the basil's sweetness. In fact the cookies aren't particularly sweet on their own, so don't miss this step. Not to mention sandwich cookies are always crowd pleasers—a handy trick if you plan on bogarting someone else's plants.