The weekly “little of this, little of that” feature at Like Mother, Like Daughter!
We do like our lemon basil sweets around here. One year we made lemon basil ice cream, and that was good (Sukie really loved it, the rest of us were fans but also a bit weirded out).
Earlier this summer I made lemon basil pound cake scant hours after Bridget made one that was so gobbled up by our reading group that she never even had a slice! Poor thing, had to rescue her — and both of those were excellent.
I realize this particular combination might just not seem like a thing to you, so let me try to convince you with…
Lemon Basil Icebox Cookies.
Deliciousness. The last bit of summer right there in a cookie.
The recipe is the Lemon Icebox Cookies from the tried-and-true, every home-maker’s help, The All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook (but actually not all new — get this edition for a song). (I wrote about the cookbooks I think will help you learn to cook and stand you in good stead when you are feeding the crowd here.)
I added the basil.
And I forgot to measure it but I will make up an amount and you tell me what you think, because it’s awesome and you will need to make these — just don’t everyone bring them to the St. Gregory Pocket meeting. The others can bring this or this or this. You bring these.
(Recipe note: the original recipe calls for greasing and flouring the pans. You know I am all about belts-and-suspenders when it comes to
offering incense to the Gods of making sure I don’t fail with cakes, but I spaced this directive when making these cookies — who does that for cookies? But maybe nothing bad happened because of these awesome baking sheets from Doughmakers that Rosie got me long ago.)
Let the cookies sit a bit before eating — do you find that lemon things need to have a chance to bloom a little? Anyway, these cookies are great after a few hours.
The recipe is after this week’s links!
- Please be the parents who let your kids do things. Please. Learn how. Use a knife? Yes. I don’t think that it’s true that a child will or will not eat something they have helped prepare, as this article suggests, but that’s beside the point. The point is to give them the skills. Start with spreaders and work your way up.
- These medieval memes are so funny. Dear Dad, send money. This one has the added value of demonstrating that perennial complaints can be put in elegant language. Maybe some of them could be offered as copywork for our less eloquent pupils, in hopes of remediating their diction?
- Normally I wouldn’t share a Facebook post, but this one from Leah Jackman-Wheitner pithily expresses something I’ve seen written about at greater length and to less effect. Any high school student could benefit from reading and maybe going over the points with you, and any freshman in college needs to read it — send it along to protect that investment of yours. Sukie was the one of our kids who expressed to me the idea that a student could approach being in college like a job, and just determine to work from morning to evening every day — and work hard. Brilliant.
- This video of six boys loving on their baby sister (who is amazingly chill and I guess she needs to be) is beyond precious. It always gets me that movies never ever depict sibling interactions the way I know them from my own experiences with my children and those of our friends. I really think that most people just have no idea for the feel of a large and loving family — the tone. Yes, there are spats and rivalries. But there is solidarity and love as well. I think this video captures that reality perfectly.
- Deirdre liked this interview with a master calligrapher whose work has gone viral on Instagram. He has some good thoughts about the creative process.
- If someone is challenging you about the videos that expose the admittedly overwhelming evil of Planned Parenthood, here is a post that zeros in on the crucial moment in question. And here is another one. Warning: graphic and heart-wrenching. Passing this info along does not constitute an endorsement of any particular candidate.
- As always, Fr. Rutler can step back and give us a good perspective on history. Here he warns of the erasure of memory in the schools as seen through the lens of current events in France.
Lemon Basil Icebox Cookies Like Mother, Like Daughter
(I doubled the recipe from the cookbook because as they point out, icebox cookies — the kind that you roll in a log and stash away to slice later and bake — are so handy to have in the freezer. They have a wildly inaccurate estimate of how many cookies their recipe will make, citing a yield of 96 for half this recipe here. Um no. I would say that the doubled recipe would make about 60.)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large egg yolks (you can freeze the whites, did you know that? Or just add them to a large batch of scrambled eggs — no one will be the wiser)
2 Tbsp lemon zest
4 Tbsp lemon juice (you will need three lemons)
3 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
4 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
Mix on low speed until combined.
You can add some sprinkling sugar to the slices for a little sparkle if you like.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and get 4 pieces of wax paper. Shape each piece of dough into a log about 8″ long. Don’t worry about making it round while the dough is warm — after the dough chills you will find it easy to roll it into a nice round shape in the wax paper before you slice your cookies.
Chill the dough for at least 2 hours — you want it to be quite firm. You can put two of the logs in a ziploc bag for the freezer at this point.
Preheat your oven to 375*. The cookbook says to grease and flour your cookie sheets, and I forgot to do this, but nothing bad happened: see my note about the baking sheets at the beginning of this post.
Cut your slices 1/4 inch thick, for real. Maybe even check the measurement with a little ruler to see that you are getting them the right thickness. They will spread during cooking and you don’t want them too thin or the tenderness will be lost.
Place the slices 1″ apart on the sheet — the cookies will spread.
Bake until set and slightly brown around the edges, although these won’t really brown. Check them after 10 minutes, but mine took 14 (but my oven runs cool). If your oven heats unevenly, set the timer so you can rotate the sheet(s) halfway through the baking.
Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool, and cool completely.