On a recent visit to Florida my brothers and my cousin and I decided we needed some beach time. Even though I can’t swim a lick, I am in love with being at the beach so I had no objections to getting picked up from the airport and hitting the road for the 45 minute ride to Cocoa Beach from Orlando. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t as pleasant as we would have liked. We drove through a storm convincing ourselves that the storm was going the opposite direction than we were. And while we may have convinced ourselves, we certainly didn’t convince mother nature.

So after we accepted the reality that the beach was no longer an option we decided to explore the town of Cocoa. Not a ton to offer like what you might expect in a larger beach city, but the locals were actually very fun and welcoming.

We met one of the sweetest souls at a macaroon shop: Le Macaron. We caught Cyndi off guard when we bombarded her shop–me with my fake French accent and the others trailing behind me with co-signatures of my ridiculousness.

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But Cyndi was no punk. She joined right in the fun and introduced us to the many macaroon flavors available. One of them seems a bit odd: Basil White Chocolate. She tried to describe the taste, but as you can imagine it is pretty difficult to explain how a cookie made with herbs tastes. And the fact that it was green just kept throwing me off. The others tried the chocolate macaroon, but that was just a bit too basic for me. I was fixated on the basil white chocolate, so I decided to try my luck.

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The macaroon was actually very delicious. You can taste the basil, but it wasn’t overpowering. I liked it so much that I decided I wanted to make my own version of it. Instead of a macaroon, I thought I would try something a little simpler since this would be my first time baking a dessert with basil–or any type of green herb for that matter. So I came up with the Basil White Chocolate Chip Cookie.

I started with a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe and just added in a half cup of finely chopped basil. I was too lazy to chop the basil by hand, so I used a bullet which worked perfectly. The smell of basil is so strong, and I was a little concerned once I started mixing if I had used too much, but I was already committed so I stuck it out. As you can see, the color was just as strong as the smell.

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In the end, the cookie actually turned out quite nicely. I got the taste spot on, but I wasn’t exactly happy with the texture. I washed the basil before I chopped it in the bullet, and the excess water made my batter sticky. I added an additional 1/2 cup of flour to the batter to try and adjust the texture, and that made the cookie a bit more bready than I would have liked. Next time I try this, I’ll dry the basil leaves and then chop them to make sure I don’t get any excess water into my cookie dough. All in all, these are definitely worth trying.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 sticks sweet cream, unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped basil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1-2 cups white chocolate chips (depends on how loaded you like your chocolate chip cookies)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • In a medium mixing bowl, mix together your flour, salt and baking soda.
  • In a larger mixing bowl, cream your butter and both sugars until smooth.
  • Stir in the basil and mix well (dough should turn green as pictured above).
  • Add vanilla and mix well.
  • Mix in the flour and the egg, alternating between the two. Begin with the flour and end with the flour. Make sure to scrape the sides and mix well.
  • Fold in the nuts and the chocolate chips
  • Drop spoonfuls of the dough onto a cookie sheet and bake for 9-11 minutes or until the cookies get a light golden brown crust on the edges.

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