Miriam Olenick is an avid ice cream producer. On her weekly column, you can find all sorts of recipes for delicious, frozen treats. Find more recipes on her own blog www.scoopdujour.net.

A few weeks ago I was wandering around Whole Foods, drooling at everything in sight, when I saw some gorgeous chipwiches and I thought, I can do that!

My problem was that I was overwhelmed with all the delicious possibilities combinations of cookies and ice cream could create. I just didn’t know where to start. So I went to the store, and one of the first things I saw was fresh basil. I thought back to one of my few visits to il laboratorio del gelato. I remembered seeing that they served basil ice cream, but I had never tried it. And again I thought – I can do that!

A number of different options for cookies to go with the basil ice cream crossed my mind, but I finally settled on lemon-lime, after scouring Epicurious.com for something suitable. I love lemon desserts – lemon bars, lemon meringue pie, lemon cupcakes – and I figured lemon would pair well with the basil. I’ve also been a little obsessed with lime ever since I got back from Costa Rica, so this recipe was actually perfect.

The result was a very refreshing dessert; the fresh basil and tartness of the cookies prevented that thirsty, sleepy feeling you usually get after eating elaborate dessert confections (or is that just me?). I gave myself so many pats on the back for creating such a perfect pairing of flavors.  I should maybe stop bragging soon.

Maybe.

Basil Ice Cream:

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
  2. 3 cups heavy cream
  3. 1 ½ cups milk
  4. 1 cup and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  5. ¼- ½ teaspoon orange flower water

Directions:

  1. Use a food processor or a blender to chop basil very finely.
  2. Combine with the rest of the ingredients in a metal bowl, whisking the mixture until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Place the bowl in the fridge to chill for half an hour (or in the freezer for 10 minutes if your short on time).
  4. Place the mixture in the ice cream maker; follow manufacturer’s directions.

Basil

Lemon-Lime Shortbread Cookies (adapted from an Epicurious.com recipe):

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup powdered sugar (plus more for pressing cookies)
  3. 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  4. 2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  5. 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  6. 1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
  7. ½  teaspoon kosher salt
  8. Decorative sugar (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Place flour, sugar, butter, both zests, lemon juice, and salt in a food processor. Pulse until large, moist clumps form.
  3. Measure level tablespoonfuls of dough; roll between your palms to form balls.
  4. Place on a large baking sheet, spacing 2″ apart.
  5. Lightly dust the bottom of a flat measuring cup with powdered sugar and press cookies into 2″ rounds, dusting cup bottom with powdered sugar as needed to prevent sticking.
  6. Sprinkle tops of cookies with decorative sugar, if using.
  7. Bake until edges are brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool.

basilsandy

Once you’ve made both the ice cream and the cookies, you can take a small scoop of ice cream and sandwich it between two cookies.  Voilà, basil lemon-lime sandies!

- Miriam ‘13