I have been obsessed with herbs this spring. I blame it on a wet, miserable, dark winter that seemed to go on forever in Arizona…So when my first few planters and pots of perennial herbs started perking up in the warm AZ sun, I spent hours outside, brushing up against them, crushing their leaves, and planting more.. I let their sweet, pungent aromas wash over me like a breath of fresh spring air.
Nothing speaks of spring and new life to me like herbs..Believe me, all greenery and flowers have a special place in my garden nerd heart, but herbs are so multifunctional and hearty, especially in the warmth of the Arizona high country, they refuse to be ignored, and if invited, they make their way right into your home, fragrancing and flavoring our kitchens and food…Oh and the elk don’t like them much either, so they are some of the few flowering survivors beyond the fortress of my deck and rooftop garden across my property.
So with all of this inspiration, I’ve had the opportunity to develop a couple of gorgeous Herb Tableware collections for my manufacturer, Certified International. The first “Herbes de Provence” has already made it’s way to retailers across the country. This fun collection is happily acting as the Vanna White to my shortbread cookies throughout this blog posting..
The second herb collection will be hitting a major Home Decor retailer in Spring 2018, that’s all I can tell you for now without having to kill ya, but follow us on the blog and social media, and I promise I will keep you updated on the release.
And on top of all of the tableware design’, I was commissioned to do a GORGEOUS backsplash for a customer..Anytime I get to spread my wings and do a customized piece beyond the tile murals from my default gallery, I am thrilled. This Lemon Topiary/Lavender/Thyme Herb garden niche still life is one of my absolute favorites! I can’t wait to get install photos and will be sure to share them on Facebook and Instagram. Here’s a sneak peak from my artist’s desk before I shipped it out:
So with all that being said, I’ve been painting and designing my tail off. With art being my business, sometimes I have to find another creative outlet, and cooking and baking seems to always rise to the top of my passions. When I opened up my latest boxes of artist samples with the new Herbes De Provence ceramic ware, I knew exactly what I wanted to create: A gluten free, paleoish, shortbread cookie, infused with lavender flowers and a bit of rosemary, balanced out with exciting lemon and texturized with crushed walnuts…Need I say more? These things are fairly guilt-free and can be modified further, removing the powdered sugar entirely and replaced with Stevia baking mix. Below is the recipe card:
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 3 cups Almond Flour
- 9 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 5 tbsp GF powdered sugar
- 4 tbsp Stevia Powder for Baking
- Zest and Juice of 1 &1/2 lemons
- 3 tbsp dried culinary lavender
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 1 cup crushed walnuts (optional)
- Bake 350 degrees 8-10min
- Icing (if desired):
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 1 tsp of vanilla extract
- zest and juice of 1 more lemon
Here’s what you do:
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees. Remove rosemary leaves from stem and give them a fine chop..With a mortar & pestle pulverize the leaves from the rosemary sprigs and lavender, along with the sea salt and lemon zest to bring out the essential oils. Add in the walnuts in small batches and continue to pulverize.
In a mixing bowl mix the Almond Flour, Coconut oil, and sugar/stevia mix with a fork until the oil is mixed in, and you achieve a texture like sand. Continue to mix in the vanilla, zest and lemon juice. Mix in herbs and walnuts and continue to work into batter.
Form batter into a ball, and with a tablespoon.form 1 inch balls, place on baking sheet, and with another spoon slightly flatten the cookies. Bake for8-10 minutes until edges are slightly golden. Let cool or else cookies will be crumbly.
In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup powdered sugar, vanilla, zest, and lemon juice with a fork until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cookies and sprinkle with a few more dried lavender.
I know it’s a sophisticated, adventurous cookie, but give it a try, your palette will be explosively thankful, while your shrinking waistline will be be equally grateful sans the explosive part…