A wee strawberry jar which was my mothers -- each hole filled with thyme -- not special thyme but regular English thyme. I do like the simple old fashioned herbs in the garden.
And my very favorite all time herb book -- Betty Crocker's Kitchen Gardens by Mary Mason Campbell. A long owned book that is a bit dirty and dog-eared. It is my herb bible! My thymely rabbit is guarding the book!
They're easy to make and really very good. They're even better if made the day before -- the flavors meld to make a better cookie!
I don't do much with dried herbs but Herb de Provence is always in the larder. In a big pottery jar that I got ages ago at Williams-Sonoma. It's been emptied and refilled many times.
HERB DE PROVENCE ORANGE BUTTER COOKIES
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at cool room temperature (3 sticks)
1 cup powdered sugar
2 t. vanilla
2 t. dried Herb de Provence
finely grated zest of 1 orange
1/2 t. orange oil (or 1 t. orange extract)
1 - 2 T. fresh orange juice
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 T. fresh orange juice
finely grated zest of 1 large orange
1 T. dried Herb de Provence
In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cornstarch and salt. Reserve. In a stand mixture fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and powdered sugar. Add the vanilla, Herb de Provence, orange zest and orange juice and incorporate. Add the flour mixture and mix briefly on very slow speed, just until a dough forms.
Divide the dough in half and set each half over a long sheet of plastic wrap. Bring the long edges of the wrap lightly over the dough and squeeze and shape the dough until you get a uniform 12" long by 2 1/4 inch wide x 1 inch deep rectangle of dough. Repeat with the other half of the dough which may not exceed 12 inches in length.
Seal the plastic wrap around each portion of the dough and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Remove one of the dough bars from the refrigerator and cut crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices. Arrange cookies slightly apart on cookie sheets that have been lightly coated with vegetable spray. (Or use a sillpat)
Bake at 350 for 11-13 minutes, rotating pans at the halfway point to ensure even browning.
Remove from the oven, loosen each cookie with a thin spatula and let cool for 3 to 4 minutes on the pan. Remove cookies from the cookie sheet and place on a wire rack and cool completely.
Store airtight in layers, separated by wax paper rounds, in a cookie tin, in a cool, dry place. These cookies improve with age. They keep for 3 to 4 weeks.
Shortly before serving (up to a couple of days), in a small bowl, combine the powdered sugar, orange juice, orange zest and Herb de Provence. Dip the top of each cookie in the glaze and place on a wire rack to let the glaze set. If the glaze is too thick, thin with orange juice, one drop at a time. If it is too thin, whisk in additional sifted powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time. Can be stored in layers, separated by wax paper rounds, in a cookie tin, in a cool dry place.
Herb de Provence Mix
1 T. dried thyme
1 T. dried rosemary
1 T. dried summer savory
1 T. dried lavender
In a small bowl, combine the herbs. Store airtight in a cool dry location. Makes 1/4 cup.