We're getting pretty close to Earth Day, so it's a perfect time to work with clay and seeds and petals and pods. We had a wonderful group of curious kids who are going to plant seedy sculptures to grow plants for the pollinators and other beneficial insects.
Since we were working in the kitchen, we decided these sculptures should be called Earth Cookies.
The teachers had just taken the children on a long walk to study ponds. What a busy day!
When it came time for clean up, I was amazed at how the children tidied everything up quickly and quietly like little garden gnomes. You're all hired to be Madame Beespeaker's assistants!
Later the same day, at the edible flowers and herbs workshop, we made chocolate chai cookies sprinkled with fennel seeds.
Madame Beespeaker's Shortbread
Shortbread cookies are great for afternoon tea and using this basic recipe you can be creative using the herbs you find in your garden. Let me know what combinations you discover! The combination of lemon and lavender is nice, and if you really like lavender, infuse sugar with lavender buds and use that to make the cookies. Rosemary and lemon go well together too. If you like savoury shortbread, there are lots of recipes out there that you could also add in herbs from your garden.
The recipe is so easy:
2 cups flour,
1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup icing sugar or 1/3 cup brown or white sugar
1/4 tsp salt
Then you add ingredients depending on your taste:
Lemon verbena: peel of one lemon, 1/2 cup chopped candied ginger, some freshly chopped lemon verbena leaves
just a few lavender buds to taste
1/3 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 tbs ground chai spice (I use a locally mixed spice that includes the ground tea leaves)
1/3 cup bitterweet chopped chocolate
Cream the butter and sugar, mix in other ingredients until blended. Make dough into logs the diameter you want your cookies. Put them in the freezer or fridge to firm up. Cut them into slices and bake at 400 degrees F until the bottoms start to brown. (We dipped the chocolate chai cookies in sugar and fennel before baking). I bake them on my pizza stone.