Monday, March 05, 2007

Rose Geranium Cookies

Ladies and Gentlemen, spring has sprung in Milan! We're wearing spring jackets to work (couture, of course!) and our herbs are sprouting on the balcony. We used fresh balcony chives in our risotto the other day, and today we introduce, cookies flavored with rose geranium. Oh they're sooo good! The dark flecks you see in the photo are the geranium leaves, themselves minced into the batter.

You Italians out there, don't be so shocked, scented geranium is not just for mosquito repellant anymore! It is very edible; the Victorians used to use it all the time in cooking, not that you lot would likely be impressed with what the English did with food 100+ years ago, but anyway...

Here's the recipe (improved from a mediocre cooking-with-herbs cookbook, which doesn't deserve to be named):

1 large egg
one scant 1/2 cup sugar (plus some for rolling)
3 tbsps unsalted butter, softened (add more if you want a more cookie-like and less fluffy, cake-like texture)
2 cups flour
2 tsps baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp minced rose-geranium leaves
1/3 cup vin santo or other sweet wine
2 tsps rose water

Cream the scant 1/2 cup sugar and butter together and add the egg, mix until homogeneous, then add the wine and rose water. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and rose-geranium leaves. Music to mix rose-geranium leaves by: the release "Red Roses for Me" by Celtic punk-rockers, The Pogues. Add the dry ingredients to the wet by thirds and mix until only just incorporated. Chill for 30 minutes to an hour. Preheat oven to 350F.

Once the dough is chilled, shape into a log and slice into 24 discs. Press each disc into some sugar on each side and place on a cookie sheet 2 inches apart from each other. Bake for about 12 minutes or until ever so slightly golden.

The result is a light and pretty sweet cookie full of rose flavor. Imagine inviting the ladies over for a schmancy 4:00 tea with these!


Blogger beenzzz said...

Geranium leaves? That is so cool! I would love to try these!!!

5:11 PM  
Anonymous Betul said...

Ottoman's used those geranium leaves in their cooking a lot, esp for sweets, milky puddings.. I've been searching a lot lately about this herb. What a coincidence..

10:10 PM  
Anonymous rowena said...

Well this is news to me! And spring herbs already sprouting on your balcony? You're on a roll!

8:45 AM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hey Beenzzz, Give them a try!

Hi Betul, I had no idea they used scented geranium leaves in Turkish cooking. If you have a recipe for rose-geranium milk pudding, please let me know!

Hi Rowena, You mean they're not sprouting on yours? We're like, an hour away from each other. Are you up in the mountains or something?

4:46 PM  
Blogger hellomelissa said...

and in north carolina the cuor di bue seedlings are sprouting... i'll keep you apprised of their progress!

1:54 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hey Melissa,

How cool is that? Do you have them out in the yard? I have 2 seedlings in the window waiting for may 1st to be transplanted out on the balcony. I can't wait to hear how big they get in a real yard.

2:26 PM  
Anonymous scott said...

Is a rose-geranium a geranium with leaves that smell like a rose?

right now, what's growing in my garden is vole holes - the little devils just killed a five foot tall gardenia bush!

5:21 PM  
Blogger J said...

I've never heard of it the kind of plant one might have in their yard? I'm intrigued!

6:37 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Scott, You guessed it, and there are clove geraniums, orange geraniums, mint, pineapple, etc. etc. Sorry about the voles. I'd suggest a little hunting if I thought they'd taste good.

6:59 PM  
Blogger ML said...

Wow, that sounds lovely! Rose-geranium...sounds exotic!

7:49 PM  
Blogger swapna said...

Hi susan
cookies are looking yummy!!what are rose geranium leaves?

11:43 PM  
Blogger Susan in Italy said...

Hi Everybody, just to clarify, rose-geranium is one of many scented types of geranium which, aside from smelling good (like your favorite flower, fruit, herb or spice) are edible. They are also beautiful to look at for their often complexly finger-y leaves if not for their tiny, nondescript (yet edible!) flowers.

6:04 PM  

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