Shortbread Herbal Cookies
I have come to a point in my life that I can’t imagine making cookies without adding flowers or herbs. I was first inspired by Lori Stern, a private chef and caterer in California, who adds loads of eye-popping color to all her dishes with the use of flowers. It was around the same time when I discovered her work that the violets started to emerge from my yard – hundreds of them. I decided to harvest a bunch for salads, infused vinegar, dried some for future tea, and of course add to cookies!
When making anything I like to keep things simple – I would definitely consider myself a food minimalist. So when I decided to add some lawn plants to cookies, it was important I find a simple recipe.
The answer was shortbread. Here is a basic recipe I follow for pretty much all my herbal cookies:
1 cup flour
½ cup butter
1/3 cup sugar
Herbs and Flowers of choice – I chose Violets!
Pinch of salt (optional, I’ve forgotten it and the cookies are still addicting)
Set oven at 350 degrees
Add sugar, butter, and salt (optional) to bowl *
*This is where you would also add powdered herbs if using
Combine using a mixer (lowest setting is fine)
Slowly add flour using the mixer
Roll up your sleeves and work the batter into a ball
Now it’s time to roll out the dough on parchment or wax paper
Roll it out to a little over 1/3 inch thick, you may need to roll in different directions to smooth out the dough and prevent too much crumbling
Add flowers and herbs
Place parchment or wax paper over the dough to keep the flowers from moving around
Roll the dough a few more times to press the flowers in
Use cookie cutters to cut desired shapes
Arrange on nonstick cookie sheets or parchment lined baking sheets, 2 inches apart
Bake until the edges are just light brown, about 8-10 minutes in my oven
Remove from oven and place on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes
Of course you can experiment with vegan, gluten-free, less sugar options if you so desire. On a side note, one of my favorite places to find recipes is The Minimalist Baker. Everything I’ve made has been truly amazing.
A few combinations:
Calendula Orange (Calendula petals, 1 tsp orange juice, 2 tsp orange zest)
Golden Milk (3 tsp powdered turmeric, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ground ginger)
Lavender Lemon or Orange (2 tsp Lavender buds, 2 tsp zest of orange or lemon)
Just good ol’ Rosemary, Parsley, Rose Petals, Cornflower, or whatever!
Rose Hip Lemon (1 T powdered Rose Hips, 1 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp lemon zest)
Cilantro Lime (Cilantro, 1 tsp lime juice, 2 tsp lime zest)
(left to right: Rose Hip Lemon, Cardamom Coffee, Cilantro Lime)
Pine (1/4-1/2 cup white pine needles that are then powdered in grinder, 2 tsp orange zest)
Some Flower Options:
Violet – My favorite! The color remains even after baking
Nasturtium – Looks amazing but if you use the leaves, they’ll most likely fall off the cookie