2010 Herb of the Year: Lemon, Dill and Pistachio Sharing Cookie


Photo by Howard Lee Puckett

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Makes One Large, 9½-inch Cookie

I like making a big cookie for presentation and then breaking it apart for sharing. I combined Eastern European flavors in this unusual cookie, which was a hit at last summer’s International Herb Association conference. (I told them they’d have to wait for the recipe to premiere here!)

• 1 1⁄3 cups unbleached flour
• 1⁄2 cup yellow cornmeal
• 1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1⁄8 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
• 1⁄2 cup sugar
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1⁄8 teaspoon lemon extract
• 1⁄2 cup loosely packed fresh dill, chopped
• 1 cup pistachios, coarsely chopped
• 1 to 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar, granulated sugar or sanding sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Very lightly butter a 9 ½-to 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. In a bowl, or onto a sheet of waxed paper, sift flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.
2. Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer for 2 to 3 minutes or until creamy. Gradually add sugar, zest, and vanilla and lemon extracts; continue beating for 2 minutes. Add flour mixture and beat on low speed just until a soft dough has formed, stopping to scrape bowl as needed. Stir in dill and pistachios.

3. Press dough evenly into tart pan and prick with a fork. Sprinkle the top lightly with the vanilla sugar or granulated sugar. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the top is golden-brown and the cookie is set.

4. Remove from oven and cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the tart ring and cool completely. Slide cookie off the base with a metal spatula onto a serving plate and serve whole. Let your guests break the cookie apart.

Note: When I travel with this cookie, I put it back in the tart pan with the ring for protection and wrap it in foil.

Author Susan Belsinger uses herbs every day in and around her home and greenhouse. She and the International Herb Association are releasing a book on dill, the Herb of the Year for 2010.

Click here for the main article,  2010 Herb of the Year: Dill (Anethum graveolens)