Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lemon Caraway Seed Cookies: Sourdough and Non-Sourdough Method

"Everything was in train for supper. There was to be stewed chicken, with 'riz biscuits' and honey, raspberry preserves, spiced peaches, fruitcake and caraway-seed cookies with delectable sugary tops." excerpt from Phoebe Dean by Grace Livingston Hill copyright 1909

"That was twelve long years ago, and they had not forgotten! They were coming to see her, and wanted some caraway cookies! A glad light leaped into her face, and she lifted her eyes to the gray distance." excerpt from Cloudy Jewel by Grace Livingston Hill copyright 1920

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        Have you ever read a story and got caught up in a simple phrase, mention of a food or style of dress? Particularly, if the book is from a time you did not live in, or a place you have not visited. This is how this recipe came about for me.

      When I read two separate references, by the same author, for Caraway seed cookies, I was intrigued. I had some Caraway seeds in with my spices that had sat in the jar for a long time, but I had never used them and really wasn't sure what they were for. So I began to search online and I found this absolute GEM of a blog article complete with newspaper clippings and old time poetry about Caraway cookies! I think one of the things that I love about learning about a different time or place is that it gives us a different idea about ourselves! We don't realize sometimes how we have categorized something in our lives to be only useful in a specific way - and yet it may be completely arbitrary that we do so! This applies to cookies as well as deeper subjects. ;)

 photo Lemoncarawaycookies.jpg      Because I love learning about herbs and spices as well, I decided to look up Caraway seeds and find out what benefits they may have. I found out they are a powerful anti-oxidant and a galactagogue (herbs that promotes milk production in nursing moms).  

On to the cookies!!

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Sourdough Lemon Caraway Seed Cookies
(makes about 2 dozen cookies)
What you'll need:
To be combined the night(or 8 hours in advance) before
1/2 cup sourdough starter
1/2 cup of unsalted butter or coconut oil

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Combine these ingredients until they make a thick dough. Cover with a cloth and sour your dough for at least 8 hours, I like to leave it souring overnight.

In the morning, or 8 hours later you'll need:
PREHEAT your oven to 375 line a baking sheet with parchment paper
2/3 cup coconut sugar (you could use Sucanat as well, however it will raise your blood sugar more)
1 egg
1 tsp pure lemon extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 TBS lemon zest (optional)

The baking soda is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL to a non-sour tasting sourdough recipe, if you forget it once you'll never live it down with your children (ask me how I know...).

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     It will take some unconventional mixing to incorporate these additional ingredients (more like "chopping" them in with a wood spoon than mixing) but once they are all incorporated you are ready to bake! I like to use a cookie scoop to place on your tray lined with parchment paper. Bake at 375 for 10-15 min.

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     Sourdough Cookies will not be super crispy, but that doesn't stop them from being super delicious! Something about the combination of Lemon and Caraway in this recipe is so super yummy! The first time we made them we brought them to the beach with us (which is a great place to eat them since the anti-oxidants can help your body fight the free-radicals in the UV rays of the sun!) They were gone before we reached home!

     If you don't have any sourdough starter on hand, or if crispy cookies are essential to your enjoyment of them, don't worry! You can still make these delicious cookies, have the health benefits of a soaked grain! If you would like to make your own soaked grain, I have used this method from Kitchen Stewardship before with good results. There's an Amazon link below that you can use to purchase it if your do not want to make your own.

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these are still the sourdough variety, the others disappeared before I got a picture!

Lemon Caraway Seed Cookies (Non-Sourdough Recipe) 
(makes about 2 dozen cookies)

Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper

1/2 cup unsalted butter or coconut oil

2/3 cup coconut sugar (you could use Sucanat as well, however it will raise your blood sugar more)

1 egg

1 tsp pure lemon extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 TBS lemon zest (optional)

In a mixing bowl, combine the butter (or coconut oil) with the coconut sugar and mix well. Add the egg, lemon extract and caraway seeds. Traditional baking methods would then tell you to combine in a separate bowl the flour, baking soda and salt. If you would like to do it that way, that's fine. I do not want to have another bowl to wash and so I add the baking soda and sea salt to the mixed ingredients and mix them well, then I add the flour. (and it's always turn out fine this way). Scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 375 for 10-15 min.

This second method will create less rise to your cookies and a crispier texture. I don't have a picture of the second method, the cookies disappeared before I could take one. ;)

I hope you and your family love these cookies as well and that they give you a new useful spice that perhaps you've never used before! I'd love to hear about it if your try this recipe and what you think of them!

 If you are interested in learning more about the Christian author Grace Livingston Hill there is a great website here and many of her books are available for free as scanned copies in ebook form through Amazon, Google books, etc. She wrote more than 100 books in her lifetime and supported her family through writing after her husband died.

In case you are interested, these shots were taken with a Canon PowerShot  SD 1200

For any and all medical advice please see a qualified medical professional.

I am a blogger, not a medical professional. In compliance with the FDA regulations, any advice is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
  Thank You!