Henry Flowers presented a wonderful class on “How to Use Herbs” this past Saturday. He brought some great samples for class participants to taste. He has provided the recipes for us to share with all of our readers!

Crisp Lemon Verbana Cookies

½ cup lemon verbena* leaves, packed and de-veined
2 cups sugar
2 cups unsalted butter

3 cups flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cream of tartar

1 cup chopped toasted pecans (recommended but optional)
4 cups corn flakes

If using pecans toast them first and allow to cool while preparing the cookie batter.
Process leaves with sugar in food processor until very fine (do this with any other herb also, including unground lavender flowers).
In separate bowl cream butter until fluffy and add sugar and beat for another minute.
Mix dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Slowly add dry ingredients to butter-sugar mixture just until well combined. Gently fold in pecans and corn flakes.
Roll into 1” balls and bake at 350˚ for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

* – can also substitute ¼ cup rose geranium leaves, 6 tsps. dried ground lavender flowers, ½ cup loosely packed cinnamon basil leaves, or any other desired herb or spice. 2 Tbsps. finely chopped rosemary is great too! Fresh or dried calendula petals make a nice, colorful addition (1/4 cup dried, more if fresh) – add along with nuts and corn flakes at the end. Feel free to experiment and try other herbs if you wish.

Greek Cheese Spread

1 medium clove garlic, mashed and finely chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
¼ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
2 oz. finely crumbled feta cheese
2 Tbsps. fresh lemon juice
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ cup finely chopped garlic chives
1-2 Tbsps. chopped fresh oregano (I use Italian)
Salt as needed

Have all ingredients at room temperature and combine with a stand or hand mixer (best not to use a food processor). Taste for salt and add if needed. Refrigerate and allow time for the flavors to blend.

Mexican Mint Marigold Buttermilk Cake

1 cup butter
3 cups sugar
½ cup Mexican mint marigold leaves
1 cup eggs (4 to 6)
3 cups flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup buttermilk

Remove the marigold leaves from the stem and then place them in a food processor with half of the sugar. Process just until the leaves are finely chopped. Mix butter and sugar well in a mixer. Add eggs and beat until well mixed and fluffy (2-3 minutes). Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Add dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately in small amounts on low speed and only until well blended.

Greased and floured pans:
Large Bundt* – 325° – 1 ½ hours
Small Bundt* – 325° – 80 min
2 large or 4 small loaf pans – 350° – 1 hr

Cake is done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The top of the cake in the pan will be a light brown and usually has cracks.
Cool 10 min. then remove from pan – the cake does shrink down some.
Let cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.

Great served with a lemon or rose geranium custard or ice cream.

I have found that it is best to use a heavy, not thin, Bundt pan and if using a smaller one to make sure that it is not overfilled or the cake will overflow the pan in the oven.