January encourages us to peek at our potential and polish our dreams, but if new year’s herald of promised change has faded a little, and you would rather stay under the covers than, embrace possibility, I encourage you to get to know the linden flower, or lime flower, as its know in Europe.

The Taste.…Tilia cordata, (linden)  captures the flavor of summer and holds the memory of warmer days. Picked in late June/early July, the tea is sunshine in a cup. You can almost hear the bee’s humming as you sip its nectar, so it’s a perfect tea for a snow day, and a timely soothing balm for the Valentine heart.

Linden flower and bract.

Linden is cooling and moistening in quality and  has traditionally been used for digestive disorders, fevers, coughs and mildly lowering blood pressure.  Beyond these physical shifts that the herb is noted for, what’s most interesting to me, is how effective it is at relaxing tension, bringing a sense of joyful calm, and creating ease for the emotional heart.

So, my recipe for a joy filled February, that will give you some visionary sparkle, plus a topping of self love, is for you to:

  • Make yourself a cup of linden tea, with a teaspoon of linden, steeped for at least 20 minutes, (if you can wait!)
  • And, then, gather the ingredients for these linden heart cookies. They will pull you out of hibernation and keep your spirits buoyed on these pre Spring days!

Linden Hearts
30g ground almonds
27g coconut flour
63g cassava flour
2 TBL linden flower
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
60g grassfed butter
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tbl raw honey
1 egg

Grind the linden flower in a coffee or spice grinder and add the powdered linden to the flours. Mix in the baking soda, salt and lemon rind, and using room temperature butter, and your finger tips, (so as not to melt the fat), break up the butter into the flour mix. You will know when its ready, as the mixture will resemble breadcrumbs. At this point you can add the egg and gently bind together until the dough starts to form a solid mass.

The pastry will need to be chilled before baking and to speed this process along, rather than roll the pastry into a ball, I roll the pastry out to a 1/4″ thickness, in between some parchment paper before refrigerating.  Cut the pastry with a cookie cutter of your choosing.  (I hand shaped the hearts, as I didn’t have a heart shaped mold, but you don’t have to do this!).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and bake the chilled cookie shapes for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  My oven runs hot, so these little cookies took me 10 minutes to bake.

Allow to cool before being tempted to nibble. The cookies are crisp, and not overly sweet, which is why the icing is a lovely contrast.

The icing:
Maple sugar
Generous pinch of powdered linden and I also added some powdered rose, but its not essential.
A few drops of water to moisten.

Add only enough water to make the icing drizzle consistency, and paint a little on each cookie when cooled.

Happy February and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Winter view of the linden trees I gather from each year in London.

Spring classes available here