When brainstorming for this profound new cookie, some of my initial ideas were maple, honey, pomegranate, and pumpkin. I strayed away from pumpkin because I figured EVERYONE would want to make pumpkin cookies right now. I decided I really wanted to find a way to creatively incorporate maple. My roommate had cooked with lavender before (which I had never heard) so I thought I'd play with that too! I settled on combining what was a strange combination to me- lemon, lavender, and maple!
The lemon was just an interesting contrasting flavor to the maple- tart and fresh paired with sweet and syrupy!
This cookie fulfills all three requirements of innovation: is it novel + valuable + feasible. Mixing lavender, lemon, and maple was a very strange combination but also one that I thought would actually end up being delicious! I started with a base from a lemon cookie recipe and added the maple and lavender from there.
The 'base' ingredients:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one large lemon, finely minced
(Also I only made HALF of the batch these ingredients were for, so I just cut the amounts in half.)
MY additional ingredients: 1/2 tbsp. lavender, 1/8 cup maple syrup
After mixing the dry and wet ingredients separately, I combined them into one mixing bowl; wet including lemon, butter, eggs, vanilla, and maple; dry including baking soda, flour, and lavender.
To make the maple reduction for the tops of the cookies, I combined 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup almond milk, 1/8 cup brown sugar, and a sprinkle of salt. I boiled this on the stove for a few minutes but it wasn't thickening enough so I added a half cup of powdered sugar to thicken it up.
This was to go on top of the cookies- I made little 'pocket's before I baked them, but the came up pretty flat..so it ended up looking more like goopy drizzle!
To make it extra interesting and fancy, I also candied lemon quarters to put on top of the cookies.
This process was simpler than I expected it to be...
I cut up two lemons into quarters and put them in boiling water for five minutes. Immediately after I put them in cold water to blanch them. Then I combined a cup and a half of sugar with a cup of water and boiled that until the sugar dissolved. Adding the lemons quarters, I let that simmer for about an hour. The end result was sticky little lemons for the tops of my cookies!
Also it's important to note that candied lemon really isn't edible--more for looks and to engage your senses!
Overall I really enjoyed this process...I'm not a big baker but when I do cook in the future I will consider new combinations instead of just relying on what is 'safe'.
Photo credits: Ethan Cook
Co-baker: Rachel Cobian