Thursday, May 30, 2013
Honey Lavender Cookies with Pistachios
I am sure I am not unique in finding baking therapeutic. When things are not going the way I'd like, it is very comforting to go to the kitchen and bake something. I know it sounds funny, but it's a great activity that keeps my hands busy and puts pleasant thoughts in my head. I love the magic of combining a bunch of dry ingredients with a bunch of wet ingredients, subjecting them to some heat and poof! You have a completely new product with a completely different texture. Besides, it is not just any product, it is something sweet and delightful. A treat. So here's to the magic of baking!
These cookies came about when I was flipping through the Oprah magazine and saw a bunch of recipes that use such natural sweeteners as maple syrup, honey and agave syrup. Now, I am not a fan of healthy baking. I think that trying to make desserts healthy by taking away fat and sugar defeats the purpose. The taste almost always suffers, and what's the point in eating desserts of not for their wonderful taste? Surely not to keep yourself healthy!
However, I HAVE baked with honey (my very popular and much pinned Winnie the Pooh cake, for example), and I do like how it behaves in baked goods. So I decided to give a shot to using it in cookies. I needed to find something to flavor the cookies with so as not to have them taste too plain. My first thought was black sesame seeds (like in one of my favorite coffee cakes which I now realize I have not written here about :)). But then I remembered lavender. Lovely flavor, if you ask me. The key here is not to overdo it lest your cookies will remind you of lavender soap :).
So here I present to you honey lavender cookies. Their sunny complexion comes from cornmeal, which also gives them a slight bite.
Honey Lavender Cookies
2 sticks (226 gr) butter, melted and cooled
3/4 cups honey (spray the inside of the measuring cup with baking spray to avoid sticking)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
2 cups flour
2/3 cups cornmeal
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon dry culinary lavender, rubbed between fingers
1/2 cup chopped pistachios
In medium bowl combine butter, honey, vanilla and egg yolks. In separate bowl combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt and lavender. Combine the two mixtures. Refrigerate the batter for about 30 minutes, until stiff enough to shape into balls.
Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350F (180C).
Shape dough into 32 balls, dip the top of each ball into chopped pistachios. Place on baking sheets 2 inches apart to allow for spreading. Bake 13-15 min, cool on rack. The cookies taste best on the same day they are baked.