This surprising combination of aromatic herbs, tart citrus and buttery, sweet dough satisfies even the fussiest cookie aficionado. The Kitchn‘s Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan developed the recipe using orange zest and thyme leaves, but you can use the basic dough to experiment with other flavors to come up with your own signature cookies.
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
1 large egg
2 Tbs. grated orange zest
2 tsp. very finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
6 to 8 fresh mint leaves, very finely sliced
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Raw or turbinado sugar for sprinkling
In a bowl, combine the butter, granulated sugar and salt. Using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer set on medium speed, beat until smooth. Add the egg, orange zest, thyme and mint and beat until well mixed. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the flour in 3 batches, beating after each addition, until combined. Divide the dough in half and shape each portion into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 1 hour or up to overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position the rack in the middle level. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Remove the dough logs from the refrigerator. For round cookies, roll the plastic-wrapped logs on a work surface (like rolling a rolling pin) to smooth the sides, keeping the diameter uniform. For square cookies, using your hands, tap each wrapped log on 4 sides against the work surface to flatten the sides evenly. Unwrap the logs and, using a sharp knife, cut the logs crosswise into slices about 1/4 inch thick.
Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheets. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of raw sugar. Bake the cookies, rotating the sheets front to back after about 5 minutes, until light golden brown, about 10 minutes.
Let the cookies cool on the pans on wire racks for a few minutes, then use a metal spatula to transfer the cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Makes about 3 dozen cookies.