Edible flowers are really fun to grow alongside your veggies and herbs. Calendula flowers have a gorgeous lemony flavour that can lend itself to all kinds of sweet and savoury dishes. It is particularly well paired in baked goods with a big collection of herbs . These shortbread cookies are buttery, and herby and totally perfect for a midsummer cup of tea.
Calendula is lovely when it’s dried and infused in oil. It’s also great steeped into a tea on it’s own, or alongside lemon balm and raspberry leaves. But if you’ve never baked with it, I encourage you to give it a try. In these little shortbreads I’ve paired it with my favourite herbs from the garden.
The herb choices were partially inspired by some classic combos, but also by the smell of the garden. When you walk out into the garden on a summer morning and the dew is just starting to dry. The smell of all the herbs and flowers waking up is one of the best things about summer mornings in the garden.
Herbs like rosemary, sage, oregano, and thyme all crave lemon flavours. That’s why we love them so much in savoury and meaty dishes like lemon chicken or fish with a squeeze of fresh lemon. And of course they all thrive in a buttery dish. In fact, one of the best ways to preserve your herb harvest is to blend your herbs into butter and freeze them in small chunks! (More on that in a later post!)
You can also use dried calendula petals for this, but you might want to lower the amount that you’re using so that you don’t overwhelm the other flavours. I used fresh because it was nice to just pluck them right out of the garden and bake.
That’s the other great thing about this recipe is how fast it comes together. Since it’s a “slice & bake” style shortbread, there’s about 30 minutes of wait time to cool the dough. But that is the longest part of the recipe. Everything else is very fast. They’re great if you have guests coming and just want to whip something up that’s elegant and simple.
Herby Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup Salted Butter Softened
- 1.5 cups Brown Sugar packed
- 1 Egg Large
- 1 tsp Lemon Zest
- 2.5 cups All Purpose Flour Sifted
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 4 Tbsp Fresh Calendula Petals Roughly chopped
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Rosemary chopped
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Thyme Leaves picked
- 2 tsp Fresh Oregano chopped
- 2 tsp Fresh Sage chopped
- Heat your oven to 375F. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, until pale and fluffy, using an electric mixer.
- Add in the egg and lemon zest and blend again until fully incorporated.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together and add to the butter mix.
- Finally add the flower petals and herbs. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Doing the final bit of stirring with your hands is helpful to bring it all together. The dough will seem a bit dry. That's okay.
- Place all your dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and roll it into a log. About 2" in diameter. Make sure it's tightly wrapped in the plastic wrap, then place in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. (The dough can also be frozen like this.)
- After the dough is nice and cold, and firm to the touch, remove from the fridge. Slice the log into 30 pieces about 1/2" thick and arrange them on your baking sheets.
- Bake for about 8-10 minutes. Or until the tops have puffed slightly and the edges are beginning to turn golden. Cool on a wire rack.
- Store in an air tight container. At room temp the cookies will last for about 2 weeks if sealed tightly. In the fridge they will last upwards of 3 weeks. The cookies can also be frozen.