What does lemon verbena have to do with bike riding and Lavender Cookies? Let me tell you…
It all started with my husband’s bike riding and running (he is so addicted to it). A couple of years ago after his bike rides or runs he would come in and tell me about a beautifully landscaped yard just one block from our house. He would stop look and sometimes take pictures. Not too long afterwards I became friends with Susan, the homeowner and person responsible for this beautiful yard. She’s a Master Gardener so that explains what is going on in her front and back yard. Susan joined our bunco group then garden club and I always look to her for advice on plants.
I have always said my husband is the one who should be in our garden club because he does ALL our yard work. Sure, I buy plants, tend my herbs and fairy garden but he’s the one responsible for any green thumb activity going on in our yard.
So, on a recent garden club field trip, Susan brought along these wonderful, crunchy Lemon Verbena cookies, which taste somewhere between a pecan sandy and a shortbread cookie and a buttery flavor (they have 2 cups butter) that had you wanting a second and third cookie (I was good that day and had 1/2 a cookie.). If my husband didn’t exercise so much, I might not have ever met Susan who gave me this recipe. Susan got the recipe from Henry Flowers who is the Garden Director at the Round Top Festival Institute and coordinator of the Herbal Forum.
I planned on making these with grandsons Oliver and Charlie while we were visiting in Chicago a couple of weeks ago. The recipe called for lemon verbena leaves and I knew I wouldn’t find on our visit to the windy city and I wasn’t home to go bum some off Susan.
This recipe said Rosemary (didn’t want )’ ….. And lavender buds could be substituted. I couldn’t believe I found fresh lavender leaves (not buds) at a local market in Chicago and knew that was my herb/flower of choice for this cookie. I used the lavender leaves but didn’t taste a whole lot of lavender flavor going on so decided to rebake when I got home using some of my dried culinary lavender buds.
It was so cold (40-50’s) while we were in Chicago I went out and stocked up on some hot chocolate and apple cider mixes which went great with these very crunchy cookies. Blanket + hot cider + cookies + tv =perfect afternoon with grandsons.
*Note: I got the lavender buds from Savory Spice Shop in Austin.
BLAST FROM THE PAST: Cheesy Vegetable Soup would be a nice bowlful of warmness on a cold/cold/freezing fall/winter night.I posted this back in 2013 and it has already had 9,700 views. Hope some of those viewers tried the recipe.
Proof these are great cookies. Charlie’s shirt says “Blame it on the sugar.” After two cookies his mom said “one more and your done” after his third cookie he said “one more and I’m done”. I think he ate 5. Who could resist the little guy.
Almost all the ingredients except for the flour. There are no eggs in this recipe so don’t think you missed an ingredient.
Put the sugar and the dried lavender buds (culinary lavender) in processor and blend until the lavender is in very small pieces.
Cream the butter and the lavender sugar.
Add the dry ingredients and then the nuts and cornflakes. Stir gently to mix.
My other Chicago helper, Oliver helped to form into balls and put about 12 on a cookie sheet about 2″ apart. Bake in 350° oven for about 15 minutes or lightly brown.
Gently remove from baking sheet and cool on rack.
- 6 tsp. culinary lavender buds, ground
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups unsalted butter (4 sticks)
- 3 cups flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 cup chopped toasted pecans (recommended but optional)
- 4 cups corn flakes
- If using pecans toast them first and allow to cool while preparing the cookie batter.
- Process leaves with sugar in food processor until very fine (do this with any other herb also, including unground lavender flowers).
- In separate bowl cream butter until fluffy and add sugar and beat for another minute.
- Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Slowly add dry ingredients to butter-sugar mixture just until well combined. Gently fold in pecans and corn flakes.
- Roll into 1” balls and bake at 350˚ for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
- * - can also substitute 1/2 c. lemon verbena leaves, packed and de-veined, ¼ cup rose geranium leaves, ½ cup loosely packed cinnamon basil leaves, or any other desired herb or spice. 2 Tbsps. finely chopped rosemary is great too! Fresh or dried calendula petals make a nice, colorful addition (1/4 cup dried, more if fresh) – add along with nuts and corn flakes at the end. Feel free to experiment and try other herbs if you wish.