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

| February/March 2010

  • Photo by Howard Lee Puckett

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.

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