Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lemon Basil Cookies

It was about 10 o' clock on a Friday night. The next day I would be taking the Chemistry SAT 2's and I had been advised by many to not "underestimate the power of a good night's sleep." Believe me, I knew that a good night's sleep would leave me feeling revived and rejuvenated by 8:00 the next morning when I would be taking the test, however I also knew that if I fell asleep with cookies in my tummy, I would have a great feeling of satiation that would carry over till morning when I took the test. This feeling would give me confidence, and put me in a good mood, no matter how I fared on the test. I was definitely making cookies.


I could've easily made my chocolate chip cookies and they would've hit the spot, but in my quest to better understand how flour, sugar and fat interact to form a cookie, I decided to try Ruhlman's 1 part sugar, 2 parts fat, and 3 parts flour ratio.


I infused basil with the butter, replaced some of the sugar with honey, and added basil chiffonade and lemon zest to the basic batter to form my cookies. I baked them for 20 and they came out great. The best part is that I can virtually do anything with the basic ratio to suit my fancy.


Oh and they definitely worked.

9 comments:

Ryan said...

how did the honey sub work, because on his honey episode, AB had to change some stuff because honey is like 20 percent water, and it is acidic, but that wouldn't matter if there is no baking soda or powder, but the recipe Alton substituted there was powder, so he had to use a little soda to balance it. I would also imagine the lemon and basil flavors worked well together, and I think a choco chip cookie with the herb infusion would be cool

Nick N said...

ryan that's interesting. In this cookie there is no baking soda, which needs acid to work, so the only thing I think the honey did in my cookies was make them moister. Honey is hygroscopic, even more so than table sugar, so it actually draws water from the air. The cookies get softer as they sit!

James said...

Hygroscopic has to be the word of the day.

Curt said...

I'm curious about your basil infused butter. Seems like the usual way to do that would be warm the basil and butter together. But I would expect this sort of recipe to call for the fat component to be cold. Can you explain a bit more about this step? The basil addition to the cookie sounds wonderful and I have basil growing in my garden right now! Thanks.

sola fide said...

that's crazy insane! .. but also something i would find myself doing in the middle of the night.
by the way i love your blog, it's preety cool - check mine out sometime :) --> sukumawikii.blogspot.com

Nick N said...

I did exactly that Curt- warmed the butter with the basil. This recipe does call for creaming the butter with the sugar, I melted it instead. This really doesn't have any ill effects, though melting the butter will cause it to separate out into the milk solids, water, and butterfat. With the water isolated, the flour can combine with it and form some gluten. I supposed that if you overworked this batter the cookies could potentially become tough, but there is plenty of fat and sugar in there to tenderize the cookies, and remember gluten is charectaristically tough, but its also charectaristically chewy- something I mentioned in my choco chip cookies post. hope that helps

Ryan said...

what about infusing the butter with something other than an herb, to make something like hot pepper cookies, and it seems like this would work great with pate a choux, to make mint cream puffs or something like that

Samantha said...

They look awesome :)
I love reading your blog (I've kind of been a lurker for quite some time now), but I always find myself hungry after! :)
Keep up the good work!
Samantha

cook eat FRET said...

good work grasshopper

ruhlman would be totally proud...