It happens every year. Right around the end of February I start getting spring fever. I can’t help myself and I start saying ridiculous things like, “Can you believe they’re predicting snow?” or “Wow, did you see how frosty it was this morning, is it ever going to warm up?” For some reason right around this time, even though I’ve lived here most of my life, I’m unwilling to remember that it’s still winter.
I do love our neck of the woods though, the four seasons, and how each one has its own beauty and different ways to enjoy it. I finished a book last week called, “True Love & Homegrown Tomatoes” by Julie Cannon. It was kind of a quirky book about a woman who loses her husband, takes solace in her back yard and finds a healing place in her garden. This did not help my spring fever a bit. In fact, it made me long even more for gardening weather.
Inspired by the main character, Imogene Lavender, I started a rough draft of what I plan to do with my gardens and flower beds in the spring. Then, I was reminded about a magazine article that I read about a pink blueberry called “Pink Lemonade“. Can you imagine? Should they still call it a blueberry? Thoughts of fruit bushes then led to thoughts of all the herbs I want to pot on the deck…which then started me thinking about mixing sweet foods with savory herbs. Mixing savory herbs with sweet foods certainly isn’t unheard of. I’ve just never done it in a cookie. I’ve been wanting to make a really good lemon cookie for quite some time and thought it might make it interesting to marry it with Rosemary and Thyme. A little bit of summer to pair with a hot cup of tea while I’m cuddled up in my favorite spot on the couch watching the snow fall.
Lemon, Rosemary, & Thyme Sugar Cookies
Makes 5 dozen cookies.
*This dough needs to be refrigerated for at least 6 hours before using. After dough is prepared, flatten into two discs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
2/3 Cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter
2/3 Cup Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening
4 1/2 Cups Mama’s Almond Blend All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
2 Tbsp. Almond Milk
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp. Xanthan Gum
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 tsp. Pure Lemon Extract (Bought mine at a cake decorating store.)
Grated Rind Of 1 Lemon
1 heaping tsp. Fresh Thyme, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. Fresh Rosemary, finely chopped
Beat butter and shortening in mixer until completely combined and fluffy, scraping down bowl once or twice. Add about half of the flour, the eggs, sugar, milk, baking powder, xanthan gum, sea salt, vanilla, lemon extract, and grated lemon rind. Beat until thoroughly combined. Pour in remaining flour, thyme, and rosemary, and beat until herbs and flour are thoroughly incorporated.
(Follow refrigeration instructions above.)
Remove 1 disc of dough from the fridge at a time. Flour the work surface with gluten-free flour and allow dough to rest for 10 minutes while you cover two baking sheets with parchment paper and set up cooling racks.
Carefully roll dough out to about 1/4 in thickness and cut with desired cookie cutter. I used a 2 1/2 inch circle.
Place on parchment paper lined baking sheets and bake for 7-8 minutes, bottom edges will just barely begin to turn golden. Remove from oven, allow to rest on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes (I let mine rest while I’m placing unbaked cookies on another sheet to go in the oven), then allow to cool completely on cooling rack before frosting.
Lemony Thyme Frosting
7 Tbsp. Earth Balance Vegan Butter
1 1/2 Tbsp. Fresh Lemon Juice
Grated Rind of 1/2 Lemon
1 tsp. Lemon Extract
1/4 tsp. Finely Chopped Fresh Thyme
6 Cups Powered Sugar
4-6 Tbsp. Almond Milk
Yellow Sanding Sugar
Fresh Thyme Sprigs
Cream the butter, lemon rind and thyme until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice and lemon extract.
Slowly begin adding the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time mixing on low and then beating and scraping down bowl after each cup. Once the frosting becomes too thick, start adding the almond milk 1 Tbsp. at a time alternating with the remainder of the powdered sugar until the frosting is creamy and fluffy. Frost cookies, decorate with yellow sugar and thyme sprigs, and place on wire racks until frosting is set.