Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Sweet Remembrances Orange Basil Cookies

While the treat I shared yesterday was a cookie designed for children, the cookie I'm sharing today is what I call an "adult" cookie, as I've heard today's more sophisticated cookies described. (That doesn't mean they're rated "R" or anything, so don't fear!) With orange zest, currants and walnuts, this cookie was already sounding good, but then I read a most unusual ingredient for a cookie: basil. I was intrigued!

But you know what? I *knew* this cookie would be delicious because it came out of a tea room cookbook I was happy to get my hands on, the Sweet Remembrances Recipe Collection from the talented Nancy Reppert of Sweet Remembrances Tea Room in Mechanicsburg, Pa. (I ordered my book by going here.) A number of my fellow tea bloggers have had the pleasure of meeting Nancy and dining in her tea room. I haven't had that opportunity yet (though it's on my teatime Bucket List!), but I vicariously dine with her all the time through her terrific blog. What always amazes me is the never-ending imagination that goes into her tea room's menu, the care and creativity that appear on her table.

When I finally get up to Pennsylvania to meet her, I'm also looking forward to visiting the shop next door, The Rosemary House and Gardens herb shop founded by Nancy's mother Bertha and now operated by her sister, Susanna Reppert Brill. It's no wonder herbs often appear in Nancy's tea room recipes, and the flavor combinations in this cookbook have my mouth watering: Baked Herbed Cheesecake, Garden Fresh Herb Scones, Orange Rosemary Cake and so much more. The cookies with basil begged to be tried first, and happily, Nancy generously gave permission for me to reprint the cookie recipe for you here! This is a new favorite at my house, and I can't wait for the next time I'm called on to bring cookies to an event.

Orange Basil Cookies

1/4 cup butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1 tablespoon orange extract
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup currants
1/2 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons dried basil

Cream together butter, cream cheese and egg yolk. Add orange juice, zest and extract. Add dry cake mix. Stir in currants, walnuts and basil. Drop by teaspoons onto buttered cookie sheet. Bake in 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Yield: 4 dozen.

Hint: If you're lusting over your own copy of this cookbook, you *might* want to show up here on Saturday and see what Nancy and I have in store!


  1. That sounds delicious!

  2. Rosemary House (tea and herbs -- what a great combination is that) has been a "Friend of Linderhof" on my sidebar for a long time . . . but I've resisted ordering the cookbook -- I will place my order today thanks to you -- these cookies look delicious and I'm always looking for nice herbal treats.

  3. Sweet Remembrances Tea Room is the best tea room I have ever been to. Even after visiting for almost 20 years I have never had the same menu twice! I love the use of fresh herbs in the dishes. Nancy's scones are awesome. Her cookbook is my "go to book" when I need to make something special. If you have never been there you need to put it on you list! YUM!

  4. YUMM...I have Nancy's cookbook too; I love it. I use it a lot -- have misplaced it absentmindedly a few times - pure panic until I find it again!


  5. Angela: Isn't Nancy brilliant- these look wonderful and so creative! Lovely post!

  6. What a great recipe, Angela - perfect with tea! I like the idea of savory treats...thanks for the recipe, Joanie

  7. Thank you Angela, for including Sweet Remembrances cookbook on your blog. Love those orange basil cookies... so moist and tasty and, best of all, easy to make! I do hope that we have the opportunity to meet some day!


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