By Cat, Feb 2008 (photo, right from Wikipedia, but the link has been lost)
Does the name this cookie bring Simon & Garfunkel, or the movie “The Graduate” to mind? “Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme…” Well, whodathunk that rosemary and thyme would ever end up in a cookie – we associate them more with savory sauces like spaghetti sauce, or egg dishes such as a French omelette.
But they work surprisingly well with sweet goodies, too. Not just cookies but also creamy custards and desserts that include ripe fresh fall fruit like apples and pears.
This recipe is adapted from an October 2007 article in my local newspaper, the Daily InterLake, originally from the Los Angeles Times by Betty Hallock and Donna Deane (1). See also their comments on the Rosemary-Thyme combination for desserts & cookies in my Herbs & Spices: G – Z article.
Rosemary & Thyme Cookies
As a shortbread-like cookie, this recipe requires flour, butter and sugar for the right texture. I do not believe it would work if you substituted stevia for all the sugar, but a partial substitution might work. I choose instead to use one of the sugar alcohols, such as xylitol, and a bit of maple syrup. But of course, you could use regular white cane sugar (I’ve not yet tested this version).
The original recipe uses 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, but I prefer to use part whole wheat pastry flour or sprouted wheat flour. (Or whole/sprouted spelt flour). Originally I added 2 Tbsp coconut flour to increase fiber content, plus 2 Tbsp milk (coconut flour requires equivalent quantity of liquid (such as milk) because it absorbs a lot of liquid, helping to keep the cookies moist), but I decided to omit that. If you wish to try the coconut flour, sift it with the other flours, and add the milk with the egg.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies, depending on size.
Ingredients & Equipment:
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup unbleached white flour
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp unrefined sea salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) real unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise (or 1 tsp real vanilla extract)
- 1/2 cup xylitol (or 2/3 cup Rapadura or white cane sugar, and omit the maple syrup)
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary or thyme, plus more for sprinkling
- 1 egg
- 1 Tbsp milk (for brushing)
- 1 medium bowl(s)
- stand mixer fitted with paddle blade (or hand mixer or wooden spoon)
- waxed paper
- rolling pin
- cookie cutter
- cookie sheet
- cooling rack
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter the cookie sheet.
- Sift flours and baking powder in a medium bowl; whisk in the salt. Set aside.
- Cream butter in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment (or in a medium bowl using a hand mixer or wooden spoon).
- If using, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean with the tip of a knife, into the butter. Continue to beat until blended.
- Add xylitol and maple syrup (or sugar) and mix until light and fluffy, making sure to scrape down sides of the bowl.
- Beat in the chopped herb, then beat in the egg and vanilla extract (if using) just until blended.
- Beat in flour mixture just until dough is well-mixed. Remove dough to a counter or board, and flatten into a disk. Wrap dough in waxed paper, twisting the ends of the paper to seal. Chill for 15 minutes.
- Remove waxed paper and roll dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Using a cookie cutter or knife, cut cookies into 2-inch squares, rounds, diamonds, triangles or stars.
- Place them on prepared cookie sheet. Brush tops of each cookie with milk, then sprinkle with a little chopped herb. Place the cookie sheet in the refrigerator to allow the cookies to chill another 15 minutes.
- Bake in preheated oven 9 – 12 minutes, until the cookies have faint coloring around the edges.
- Remove cookies from oven and transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
- October 2007 article in my local newspaper, the Daily InterLake, originally from the LA Times by Betty Hallock and Donna Deane (articles.latimes.com/2007/oct/17/food/fo-rosemary17)