Sage and Lemon Shortbread Cookies

Right at the beginning of my herbal studies program, I received an assignment to choose an herb, single out one of its constituents and write a paper on them. I selected sage, first because I was clueless about the multitude of herbs from which to pick and second because I was going through a smudging stage. It is actually white sage not garden sage that is burned for clearing negativity, but as I said I had a lot to learn. Fast-forward four years and although I know more about herbs, I still am a novice at growing them. Sage again came to my rescue as a first success. So it is no surprise that one of my premier sweet experiments for the Herbal Bake Shoppe are these sage shortbread cookies.

Sage with its Latin name Salvia derived from salvere, to save, seems to be doing that for me. The word sage also signifies wisdom and calm judgment, like a scholar or sage advice. I need that. Energetically, sage is drying and helps drain dampness that shows up as excess secretions, like sweating or post-nasal drip. To achieve this benefit, it is better to drink it as a tea than eat it as a cookie. But shortbread is a classic afternoon tea accompaniment. On a rainy afternoon, these sweet and savory little treats combined with lemon, which can also be drying and a cup of sage tea may bring warming comfort. They freeze well and defrost quickly but are also quick to mix together anytime you need them.

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Sage and Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Servings Prep Time
32cookies 15minutes
Cook Time
35-40minutes
Servings Prep Time
32cookies 15minutes
Cook Time
35-40minutes
Print
Sage and Lemon Shortbread Cookies
Servings Prep Time
32cookies 15minutes
Cook Time
35-40minutes
Servings Prep Time
32cookies 15minutes
Cook Time
35-40minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup organic unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup organic granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 TBS fresh sage* finely chopped
  • cups organic all-purpose flour
  • grated zest from 1 large, fragrant lemon
Units:
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 °F. Have an 8x8 square cake pan ready.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine softened butter, sugar and salt beating well until light and fluffy. Beating can be done either by hand with whisk or with electric mixer at medium speed. Blend in lemon zest and sage. Gradually add flour and mix until smooth.
  3. Once flour is totally added, use your hands to gently knead dough and form into a ball. Press dough into cake pan to fill all of pan and smooth out top.
  4. Bake for 35-38 minutes until just turns golden on edges and top.
  5. Cool about 15 minutes and while still warm, cut into 16 squares and then cut each square diagonally into a triangle. Cool completely on a wire rack and then remove from pan.
Recipe Notes

*A note on sage for this recipe: the more fragrant the sage, the more taste it will add to these cookies. I used sage that I grew in my garden that still had a strong aroma. After I picked the leaves, I dried and chopped them. You do not have to do this! You can buy fresh sage and let it dry for 24 hours by laying flat on a paper towel. The kitchen counter is fine. It is also totally ok to use dried sage, but decrease the amount to 2 teaspoons.

*Using organic ingredients makes your baked goods all the more nourishing. For this recipe, use organic sugar, butter, flour, and lemon zest if available.

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