Herby Shortbread Cookies

Howdy whalers! This week you got a plethora of herbs. I am betting that you already know how to dry them and make pesto, so I am going to share something a little outside the box: Herb Shortbread Cookies! This week’s recipe is adapted from My Midlife Kitchen. They used cinnamon basil in their recipe, but I am of the opinion that just about any herb will work in this one.

So first thing you want to do is wash and dry your herbs. Then you are going to chop them up fine. If there are woody stems make sure to remove them. Set out your butter to soften.

You are going to want to mix together your flour and baking powder. Note: original recipe calls for salt, but I used salted butter so I skipped it here. Beat your egg with a whisk in a separate bowl until it is frothy. Once your butter is easily mashable with a fork, combine the egg, butter, vanilla, and sugar; mix until a consistent texture. I used a fork, feel free to use a stand mixer. Finally, add your herbs! I separated the batter into three batches and added a different herb to each one.

There are all kinds of different ways to present shortbread cookies. You can roll them out flat and use a cookie cutter or make a cylinder of dough and cut off rounds. I am lazy so I went with the drop spoon method. Take a spoonful of the dough and place on a baking sheet that you have covered with parchment paper. Then you are going to bake the cookies at 375 degrees for 5-8 minutes or until they are golden brown!

The result a sweet and herb treat that goes very nicely with your lemon balm iced tea!

Recipe

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (only if you use unsalted butter!)
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 tbsp. chopped fresh herb of your choice!

Hope you enjoy!

Radical Goat Cheese and Radish Muffins

Do you still have a bunch of radishes left over from last week that are looking a little wilty? Don’t throw them on the compost pile! I have just discovered a savory muffin recipe that will use make your radishes disappear and leave ’em begging for more! Found this one on Kitchn in a post by Kelli Foster.

Can you say “NOM”?

Don’t those look delish? Trust me, they are!

You will want to preheat your oven to 375 F, and either grease your muffin pan or get out those extra muffin cups from your last family cupcake extravaganza. I went with the cups for easier clean up!

Next, slice your radishes thin. You may have noticed that some of your radishes have some holes inside. This happens when they get mature, and is just an indication that they are about as big as you want them to get (from the gardener’s perspective, anyway). They should taste the same as the others! Then you can melt your butter in a sauce-pan while you combine all your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and garlic powder in a big bowl.

In a second bowl beat your eggs and add 5 tablespoons of the melted butter (once it has cooled a bit), honey, and buttermilk. At least that is what the recipe calls for. I totally forgot the honey and loved these muffins anyway (so if you are cutting the sugar out of your diet, feel free to leave it out!).

Also! I do not regularly keep buttermilk in my fridge! It is not a thing at my house, despite the manifold uses of buttermilk in making baked goods fluffy. I did my usual sub, and made my own with 2% milk and lemon juice. For future reference, add one tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 cup of milk and let it sit for 5-10 minutes, and through the wonder of SCIENCE, you get buttermilk!

After your dry ingredients are well mixed and your liquids are well mixed and your cocktail is well mixed (I stand by this), combine your wet and dry ingredients (not your cocktail; drink that)! Stir until just combined. Mine was uniformly wet throughout, but the original recipe makes it sound like you want it a little less so. Just use your best judgement (I trust you).

Next fold in your sliced radishes and goat cheese, holding back about 2oz of each to decorate the tops of the muffins.

A note on cheese: Some of you do not like goat cheese. I do not understand this. Goat cheese is awesome. It makes everything so creamy! However, if goat cheese is not your bag, I will suggest that feta would also work very well in these muffins. Yes I know that is another type of goat cheese. Fine. Use cheddar, and tell me how it goes.

You will then want to spoon your mixture into your muffin pan. Fill each cup about 3/4 full, top with a couple radish slices, a little left over cheese, a spoonful of the leftover butter, and sprinkle with pepper.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

No joke, I made 2 pans of this (one recipe) and they were gone in 24 hours. Buttery, savory, and healthy because you put vegetables in it, right? Right?? Work with me people!

Ok, just enjoy.

Recipe

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, divided
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons honey (if you feel like it!)
  • 1 medium bunch radishes (about 2 cups), stems removed and sliced thin
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Garlic scape pesto is the besto!

Once again we have given you garlic scapes, those spicy, fabulous extra somethings that appear when it is time for hard-neck garlics to flower! We want the plant to put all its energy into growing those beautiful garlic cloves underground, so when the scapes come out we chop them off tout suite. And then we have the opportunity to make that spring time favorite: garlic scape pesto!

I love all kinds of pesto. I should OD on it during the months when the basil is really kicking, but it never seems to get old. This recipe makes a tangy, lemony spread that goes great with sandwiches, pitas, pasta, salad wraps, pizza… just about everything!

Note: because I did not have as many garlic scapes as was recommended, I used basil to make up some of the bulk of this batch. The recipe below is the adaptation I made from a recipe I found on Vanilla and Bean. The cool thing about pesto, is that really any green will do. You can even make pesto from carrot tops or spicy radish greens!

Chop off those flowers and set them aside.

So, you are gonna wanna dust off your food processor for this one. We just moved into our tiny house at the farm a few months back, and the cuisinart has been sitting on top of the cabinets for quite some time! Chop the bulbs off of the garlic scapes, you only want to use the stems. Put the scapes, pine nuts, basil, parmesan, and olive oil all into the chopper! Hit pulse and let it spin until the mixture is pretty smooth. You may have to pause and scrape it down a few times with a spatula.

Still needs some more cuisinart time!

Once it is pretty smooth, add your salt and pepper and lemon juice. Feel free to adjust the liquids so that you get the consistency you like!

Then you just spoon the concoction into your storage container of choice! Pesto freezes well, which is awesome for when you need a taste of spring in mid-winter! Some folks put them in ice cube trays so that they get nice little cubes of pesto they can toss in with pasta. Last year I put a bunch in ziplock bags and let them freeze flat on a cookie sheet, which made it easy to break off sections when I was ready to cook. This year I am trying these cute little 4oz Ball jars!

As you can see, there was just slightly too much from this batch to fit completely in two jars. Luckily I found a solution!

No problem! 🙂 I stuck one in the freezer and one in the fridge. This stuff was amazing on the egg and cheese (and pickled radish!) sandwiches that we made for dinner. Yay!

Recipe

  • 5 garlic scapes
  • ~2 packed cups of basil
  • 1/3 C pine nuts or almonds
  • 1/3 C parmesan, shredded
  • 1/3 C lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • A few grinds of pepper
  • 1/3 C olive oil

Honestly, washing the dishes takes longer than it takes to mix up this amazing stuff, and it is so worth the time. Store-bought has NOTHING on homemade!