Herb cookies

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I love cookies and I love herbs, so herb cookies are two of my favorite things to eat. They’re easy to make, small enough not to overdo it when eaten (unless you want to), very flexible, and easy to adapt with different flavors.

Historically, cookies were used as test cookies to test the temperature of the oven. A small amount of cake batter was put on a pan, placed in the oven on fire, and watched to see how long it took for the batter to bake. If the oven was found to be too cold it would be fed with additional wood or charcoal, if it was found to be too hot wood or charcoal would be removed or left to burn longer before setting the cake to equalize the temperature. What a wonderful flavorful treat that started out as a tester and has now become a favorite for almost everyone and a good learning tool for novice cooks. As a home economics teacher, I would use baking chocolate chip cookies to teach my students proper measurement techniques. I showed how to measure brown sugar, flour, shortening, eggs and liquid. He caught their attention with a reward of a freshly baked cookie at the end. I still love to bake chocolate chip cookies!

Cookies come in many flavors, sizes, shapes and shapes. They are grouped into six basic types, depending on the stiffness of the dough and the method of handling. The six types of cookies are: drops (spoons deposited like chocolate chip cookies), bar (baked in a pan then cut like brownies), refrigerator (rolled into a tube shape then sliced ​​and baked like grinders. chocolate-vanilla wind), rolled (like sugar cookies), pressed (put in a cookie press like spritz) and molded (rolled into a ball like peanut butter cookies). Cookies can be served in different ways; as an accompaniment to dessert (cookies and ice cream), or as a dessert on its own, at teas or parties, as a treat in a lunchbox and, of course, the most popular way of all – snacks. When I was quite young, my mother made Russian tea cakes for Christmas, my favorite cookies. I would sneak into the kitchen, put a Russian tea cake in my mouth, close my lips around so no one could tell I had something in my mouth and walk into my room to chew the cookie and destroy the evidence – sneaky, but delicious.

You can buy ready-to-eat, frozen dough, chilled dough, and mix cookies. Adding herbs to cookies makes something wonderful, even better. Putting herbs in frosting to accompany ready-to-eat or homemade cookies is one way. Mixing the herbs directly into the dough and then baking them in the oven is another way. You can also try soaking the herb in a warmed liquid that is used in the cookie or frosting or try some herb flavored ice cream in between cookies to make tasty ice cream sandwiches. You can experiment by adding different herbs to some of your favorite recipes opening your flavor horizons to new taste treats. A few herbs to try: anise hyssop, basil, lemon balm, lemon verbena, one of the mints, monard, and rosemary, to name a few.

Store crisp, thin cookies in a container with a loose lid. Or if the cookies are soft, store them in a tightly covered container. If you want to freeze cookies, they should be placed in a sturdy container covered with foil or plastic wrap, and each layer should be separated with additional foil or plastic wrap. Cookies can be stored in the freezer for 9 to 12 months. The dough can also be frozen. Put the dough in the freezer before or after shaping. Thaw the dough and bake the cookies as usual.


Here are some tasty cookie recipes using herbs and spices. Try them out, you’ll be glad you did.

FALL BARS Makes 4 1/2 dozen

Ideal for fall. This is from a Valley Herb Society cookbook, “Savory Seasonings Volume I. Thank you Mary Lou Hayes.

Crust:

2 cups of flour, sifted

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

Preheat the oven to 350 ° F. Mix the ingredients well and roll out into a 9 x 12 inch pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

Filling:

3 eggs, beaten

1 cup of brown sugar

1 cup of coconut

1 cup of raisins or candied fruit

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans

2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

1 teaspoon of caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

2 tablespoons of lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Toss and pour over the bottom crust and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes. Cool and cut into squares.

LAVENDER SUGAR COOKIES

This is a regular sugar cookie with the addition of lavender. They almost taste lemony.

3/4 cup shortening (I use one part butter)

1 cup of sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

2 1/2 tablespoons of lavender flowers

Mix the shortening, sugar, eggs and vanilla well. Stir in the flour, baking powder, salt and lavender. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Heat the oven to 400 ° F. Roll the dough to 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured cloth-lined board. Cut into the desired shapes. Place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned. 4 dozen 3-inch cookies.

MINT CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

Use your favorite brownie recipe: scratch-off or boxed. It is my favorite.

4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate

2/3 cup shortening

2 cups of sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1/2 cup minced fresh mint (peppermint or chocolate mint work best)

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of chopped walnuts

Heat the oven to 350 ° F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. Melt chocolate and shortening in a large saucepan over low heat. Remove from fire. Combine the sugar, eggs and vanilla. Stir in the mint, then the remaining ingredients. Spread in the mold.

Bake 30 minutes or until brownies begin to peel from sides of pan. Do not overcook. Cool slightly. Cut into bars of about 2 x 1 ½ inches with a plastic knife so that they do not stick to the knife. Spread with chocolate frosting or sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.

SPICY PUMPKIN BARS

Another great fall cookie recipe with lots of spice. This is from the Valley Herb Society Cookbook “Savory Seasonings Volume II.

3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup soft butter

3/4 cup pumpkin

1 egg

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ginger

1/4 teaspoon cloves

Preheat the oven to 375 ° F. Beat sugar and butter together. Stir in the pumpkin, egg and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Add to creamy mixture. Mix until well blended. Grease a 9 x 9 inch pan and spread the mixture evenly. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes. While the bars are cooking, prepare the frosting (recipe below). While the bars are hot, frost with the spice frosting.

Spice icing

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of milk

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

Pinch of ginger

Pinch of cloves

Put all the ingredients in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture is bubbly. Remove from fire. While the bars are still hot, spread over them.

ORANGE BASIL COOKIES

An old friend of herbs, Mary Gerathy, shared this recipe.

1/4 cup butter

9 ounces of cream cheese

1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon of orange juice

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 can (1 pound 2 ounces) orange cake mix

1 cup of raisins

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons of dried basil

Combine the butter, cream cheese, egg yolk and juice. Add the dry cake mix. Stir in the raisins, pecans, zest and basil. Cool the dough. Roll into small, half-inch balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Flatten each ball with a fork. Bake at 350 ° F for 10 or 15 minutes.

Donna Frawley is the owner of Frawley’s Fine Herbary and author of “The Herbal Breads Cookbook”, “Our Favorite Recipes”. and “Book of Edible Flowers”. She also has her own “Cooking with Herbs” DVD and a weekly newsletter. She can be reached at 989-488-0170, frawleyherbs@yahoo.com or www.frawleysfineherbary.com


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