Baking with Chickens
Lemon Verbena and Chamomile Shortbread Cookies
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I adore afternoon tea and cookies. There's something so civilized about taking a moment to sit down and have a cup of tea and cookies. Maybe I have the old soul of a British grandmum. The herbs in my tea garden are exploding so I made from fragrant Lemon Verbena and Chamomile Shortbread Cookies, and took inspiration from the fabulously talented Loria Stern and pressed edible flowers on top for decoration. They’re wonderfully crisp, crumbly and the cookies melt in your mouth with bright herbal notes from the lemon verbena and chamomile. Enjoy these cookies with a cup of tea!
How to Make Shortbread Cookies
These Shortbread cutout cookies are soft and crumbly. No eggs were used in this recipe. The chickens got the day off. Just mix sugar, butter, salt, flour, and crushed lemon verbena and chamomile. A couple of tips for making these shortbread cookies:
Roll the cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper instead of on a surface lightly dusted with flour. Easier to manage, less sticky, easier to peel off, and put onto the baking sheet.
Chill the dough for a few minutes after you roll and press on the flowers. It makes it easier to move the cookie off the parchment paper into the baking sheet. I put the dough, still between the parchment paper, into the freezer on a baking sheet for 5 minutes to chill.
A round cookie cutter, lid of a mason jar, or top of a drinking glass works great to make the cutouts.
Don't have a rolling pin? Use a flat liquor or wine bottle!
Can I freeze the cookies to bake later? Yes! You can freeze the rolled and cutout cookie dough and bake later. The pressed flowers might not look as great after coming out of the freezer. Freeze them flat on a bake sheet and then store in a flat airtight container until you’re ready to bake. Then pull out the cookies, place onto a baking sheet to thaw a little before pressing the flowers and baking.
How to Decorate Shortbread Cookies With Pressed Flowers
Pressed flowers on cookies look so GORGEOUS! They make a statement on an otherwise plain cookie and make beautiful gifts. This was much easier than I thought and I highly recommend trying this technique.
Make sure you're using edible flowers that haven't been sprayed with pesticides. I found nasturtiums in my garden. You can also find edible flowers at Whole Foods. Chamomile, rose petals, pansies, borage flowers, lavender and sage are easy to find edible varieties.
How to press flowers onto cookies? Place your fresh flowers onto the cookie, put a sheet of parchment paper on top and lightly flatten with your rolling pin. The flowers should stick on nicely. If not, you may need some water or egg white to act as a light glue. Trim off any bulky stems, rinse with water, pat dry, and check for bugs before pressing.
Love shortbread? Try my Rose Pistachio Shortbread Cookies
Where Can I Get Edible Flowers?
Grow them! Forage them (in places you know haven't been sprayed with pesticides). Ask friends and neighbors. Local farmer's markets. Specialty markets will occasionally have them. Find local flower growers.
Know your edible flowers from toxic flowers! Check this list of edible flowers before you start picking and eating.
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Get the Recipe
Lemon Verbena and Chamomile Shortbread Cookies with Pressed Flowers
Wonderfully crisp, crumbly shortbread cutout cookies that melt in your mouth with bright herbal notes from the lemon verbena and chamomile. Decorated and pressed with edible flowers. A Baking With Chickens Original Recipe, inspired by Loria Stern.
Makes 40 cookies
Time to Prepare: 45 minutes
1 cup unsalted butter room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon dried chamomile blossoms
1 1/2 teaspoon dried lemon verbena leaves (best if harvested fresh and dried overnight so the leaves are still green)
2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/3 cup (slightly less) powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cream together butter, sugar, and salt until smooth.
3. In a food processor or with a mortar and pestle, crush and grind the chamomile flowers and lemon verbena leaves. Take out any stringy stems.
4. Add chamomile, lemon verbena and flour into the mixture. Mix until a smooth dough forms.
5. Roll out dough on a flat surface between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. If the dough is too soft and sticky, chill in the freezer for a few minutes.
6. Cut out cookies, using round cookie cutter. Before lifting them off the flat surface, place an edible flower on top of each cookie.
7. Place the parchment paper on top. Lightly press the flowers into the cookies by rolling using your rolling pin. Lift the parchment paper off, redo your cookie cutouts if necessary, and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. If the dough is soft and difficult to lift, chill in the freezer for a few minutes.
8. Bake in 350°F oven for 14-16 minutes, until the edges are light golden. Turn the pan halfway through baking to even bake on both sides.
9. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
10. Mix lemon juice and powdered sugar for a smooth, thin, runny glaze. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush a thin layer of glaze on top of the cookies.
11. Sit down and enjoy your cookies with a nice cuppa!
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