Herbs in the Cookie Jar: Saffron Cookies


Keep your cookie monsters happy with a good supply of (clockwise from the left) Lavender Cookies, Black Pepper Chocolate Balls, Coriander Date Cookies, and Saffron Cookies.

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Makes about 3 dozen

Grandmother Reppert was a Schwenkfelder, a member of a group of religious dissidents who came to Penn’s Woods seeking the freedom to worship as they believed. Spending months in Holland awaiting passage, her family developed a taste for saffron. The Schwenkfelders tucked the precious bulbs into their steamer trunks, and when they arrived in Philadelphia in 1734, they planted them. Their saffron bed is still there.

• 1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1 cup butter or margarine
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1 egg
• 2 1/2 cups flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/8 teaspoon salt

1. In a small saucer, stir together the saffron and water and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and saffron/water mixture and blend thoroughly. Sift the dry ingredients and stir into the creamed mixture. Chill the dough for 1 hour, or until it is firm enough to handle.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll the dough into balls the size of walnuts; ­flatten them with a cookie stamp or fork. Place the cookies on ungreased baking sheets and bake 7 to 10 minutes. Cool on racks.

Bertha Reppert and her family have been introducing other people to the pleasures of herbs for more than twenty-five years. All manner of herbal sweets and treats are standard fare at the family-owned Rosemary House in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, one of America’s oldest herb shops. Bertha is also an author and teacher of renown in the herb world. Her daughter Nancy owns Sweet ­Remembrances, a teahouse and catering service that specializes in herb cookery with edible flowers. Through countless garden parties, afternoon teas, and workshops, the Repperts have developed a large repertoire of special recipes, from which these cookie concoctions are drawn.

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