July 30, 2014

Lemon Verbena Shortbread

Lemon Verbena Shortbread

During the summer I’m all about making the most of my edible gardens. My herbs have been thriving ever since they were moved from the sunny raised bed to the shadier porch. Now my daughter and I are collecting bunches of fragrant greenery to use in my cooking. Over the weekend I was inspired by my gorgeous lemon verbena plant. Every year I am tempted to plant it in the garden but have been advised against it since I’ve been told it will take over everything. Instead I just buy a new plant each year and keep it in a pot until the first frost hits. I make sure to use every single leaf in everything from tea to ice cream to baked goods. This shortbread was new to us this year and we loved it.

Shortbread is a great way to showcase unusual flavors. The buttery dough is the perfect backdrop is the perfect backdrop for everything from coffee and chocolate, to lavendar and lemon verbena. In this case I used straight lemon verbena enhanced with a touch of lemon zest. The ingredients were nothing fancy and didn’t need anything unusual to make them stand out.

During naptime I made the dough in the food processor and let it rest in the fridge until after the kids were asleep. There is nothing better than a quick batter that comes together in one single bowl. Then I simply baked up my coins and they were cooled and ready to eat the next morning. They were tender and buttery with gorgeous citrus and floral notes from the verbena leaves. They tasted like summer.

More things to make with your herb garden this summer:

Perfect Pesto

Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup

Blueberry Thyme Pound Cake with Lemon Glaze

Strawberry-Lemon Verbena Ice Cream

Meyer Lemon & Thyme Risotto

Raw Tomato & Basil Spaghetti Sauce

Walnut Parsley Pesto

Freezer the herbs you don’t use!

Lemon Verbena Shortbread

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

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  • 1/3 cup lemon verbena leaves
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 ¼ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Confectioners' sugar for dusting


  1. Add the lemon verbena, granulated sugar, salt, and lemon zest to the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Pulse a few times until the verbena is in time pieces and everything is fully incorporated.
  2. Add the butter to the the bowl pulse again until incorporated. Add the flour and pulse a few more times, scraping down the sides as needed, until a complete dough forms. Remove the dough and wrap it in plastic wrap. Let it rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or up to overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Dust a surface with flour and roll the dough out to ¼-inch thick. Cut the dough into circles or shapes and re-roll and cut until you use all the dough. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Once the cookies are cooled dust them lightly with confectioners' sugar and serve.

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