One of our favorite parts of the holiday season is baking and sharing cookies, especially if we can incorporate some little part of our gardens into our baking sessions. Because we love the buttery richness of shortbread and because they are super easy to make, this year, we chose to update one of our favorite shortbread recipes with the addition of herbs from our windowsill herb pots. We also created a new savory shortbread cracker recipe that we know will be a big hit at our holiday parties all through the season. Or just a really yummy snack for those of us celebrating remotely again this year. We used sage, rosemary and thyme herbs which you can grow from our Holiday Essential Grow-Stix Kits. But use any combination or favorites for your recipes. We have a number of herb combination packs or single packets so you can create your own combinations. Make one or both and let us know how you liked them!
We love the lemony goodness of this cookie. The perfect sweetness balanced with the fragrant addition of fresh in the decorative tops make it simply the best cookie for the holidays and any other occasion throughout the year.
Lemon Herb Shorties
We love the lemony goodness of this cookie. The perfect sweetness balanced with the fragrant addition of fresh in the decorative tops makes it simply the best for the holidays and any other occasion throughout the year.
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1tsp salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks) softened to room temperature
- 1 cup superfine or powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 1tsp vanilla
- 2 tsp lemon zest (1 lemon)
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 8 or 9 sprigs of your choice assorted herbs (for the holiday version of this recipe we’re choosing rosemary, thyme and sage)
- 1 egg white
- ½ tsp water
- Whisk together the flour and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Blend the butter and sugar in a large bowl with either a hand or a standing mixer. Add the egg, vanilla, lemon zest and juice and mix until creamy. Slowly blend in the flour and stir until a smooth dough is formed. Mold into a round or square log and wrap snugly in plastic. Chill for an hour or overnight.
- Meanwhile, remove the thyme, rosemary leaves from their stalks into separate bowls, add another small bowl of sage leaves to your prep station. Here’s a quick and easy tutorial for removing them from their stems.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. And line baking sheet(s) with parchment paper or favorite silicone baking mats. Turn dough out onto a lightly flour-dusted surface and roll out to about ¼” thickness and cut into shapes using cookie cutters of choice. Transfer to baking sheets and whisk together egg white and water just until blended. Brush tops with a light sheen of egg white/water mix. Sprinkle or strategically place your herb leaves on the cookie tops and gently press into place. If you want to get fancy, you can sprinkle a little pinch of coarse or sanding sugar on each cookie for a bit of sparkle.
- Bake for about 15-17 minutes (checking frequently toward the end) until the edges are golden brown.
Savory Herb Shortbread Crackers
Our savory take on a favorite shortbread cookie, these crackers are going to become a sure favorite! Use any combination of herbs that suits your fancy. We chose a nice combination of parsley, thyme, rosemary and oregano for a super herby flavor.
· 1 cup packed with grated good Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
· 2 cups all-purpose flour
· 3 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
· 1/2 tsp garlic salt
· 1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
· 24 sprigs of parsley, thyme, rosemary and oregano
· 2-3 tbsp coarsely crushed pink peppercorns (depending on taste)
· 1 tsp flaked sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350° and position the rack in the center. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper of favorite silicone baking mats.
- Pulse cheese in a food processor until finely ground. Add the flour, thyme and garlic salt. Season with a pinch or two of black pepper. Pulse again a few times to combine. Add cubed butter through the tube while pulsing until all is combined. The dough will be a bit crumbly but that is fine. Transfer the dough to the pan(s) and press over the flat surface of the bottom. Smooth the top with a glass or a small roller. Score the surface into 24 squares or rectangles and arrange or sprinkle herbs onto each square/rectangle. Gently press the herbs into the dough and dust with pink peppercorns and sea salt. You may need to score the surface one more time to ensure the crackers break evenly and easily.
- Bake until the top is just a tad golden brown for about 25 minutes. Immediately cut your squares/rectangles with a sharp knife while hot. Turn off the heat and return the pan to the oven to cool completely. For a crispier crunch, leave the pan in the oven overnight. Store crackers in an airtight container at room temp.