Family gatherings and decadent foods are the imprints left from the recent end of year holidays, and the inspiration for this herbal cookie creation. Evoking memories of Linze Torte, the traditional holiday pastry that originates from Linze in Austria, I set out to create a healthful, vegan, gluten free, and herbal version, that still has the nutty crunch and the jammy center but will fit well into the rigours of New Year diets for all those who want a guilt free confection.

Hibiscus and Hawthorn are both rich in flavenoids and blood red in color, giving a clue to some of these plant’s medicinal magic. Both are considered tonic herbs for the heart and blood.

Hawthorn berries relax blood vessels and have been used traditionally to improve cardiac circulation, reducing palpitations, arrhythmia and mildly lowering blood pressure.* They are rich in pectin, cooling in quality and make great syrups, ketchups, and jams.

Hibiscus is also cooling and known as a refrigerant herb, often featuring in summer drinks and jellos. Its tart flavor is part of its charm. Medicinally, it helps lower blood pressure, reduces inflammation, and lowers tryglycerides in those with diabetes.*

There is also one other plant medicine in the recipe that deserves a mention…Kudzu. Known as the vine that ate the South, its an invasive that has lots to offer medicinally. Used for arthritis, muscle spasms, gastritis and neck pain. It can be used in place of arowroot, as a thickener.

Note: *Check contra indications against any medications, if using as part of a regular health protocol.

So, now I have introduced the herbs, let’s get started with the recipe….

Hibiscus Hawthorn Cookie With Quince Jam
30g walnuts
20g cassava flour
½ teaspoon ground chia seeds
½ teaspoon kudzu root (grind in a coffee grinder)
2 1/2 teaspoons of coconut oil
2 teaspoons of water
½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 ½ teaspoon of powdered hibiscus (grind in a coffee grinder)
½ teaspoon of powdered hawthorn (best to buy this pre ground)**
¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Quince Jam

1 quince
1/3 cup of sugar
½ a juiced lemon
3/4 cup of filtered water

Soak the walnuts overnight and dry them in the oven on the lowest light possible until crisp.  This may take several hours and is best achieved with a dehydrator. (Soaking the nuts before use aids digestibility as it helps to reduce the phytic acid).

Using a coffee grinder, grind the nuts, seeds and herbs one by one, for all except the hawthorn berries. Hawthorn berries have a large seed in their center, and the coffee grinder may struggle breaking this down into fine enough particles for the cookie dough.

Cookie dough cutting

Once all the herbs are ground, blend together with the flour, salt, oil and water. The dough is crumbly, so press it together and then, roll it out between two pieces of parchment paper  to 1/4″ thick, before cutting out circles, with your favorite cookie cutter.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake until crisp for 20 minutes on 350 degrees. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Prepping quince for fruit jam

Quince Jam Topping:
Quince is a fruit that you can find in late Fall to early winter, (depending on the climate). While the fruit looks like a pear, its flesh is tougher to work with and it can take a while to soften with poaching. Its so worth it,  if you have the time, as the resulting fragrant condiment elevates the taste of the whole cookie.

Juice half a lemon and add to a pan filled with 1/2 cup of filtered water. Once the quince is peeled and cored, roughly chop the fruit and add to the acidulated water to prevent the quince from browning as its flesh oxidizes. Add the sugar and cover with parchment paper, before covering with a lid and allowing to simmer on a low light for about an hour. (Make sure there’s enough water so that the poaching quince does not burn. The parchment paper helps to keep the fruit submerged).

As the fruit begins to break down, the poaching fruit will morph into a red bubbling syrup. Mash the fruit and when the pureed fruit starts to resemble jam, remove from the heat.

Now is when you can paint a blob of the jam in the center of the cookies and start eating!
Note: If you don’t have quince jam, raspberry or apricot jam will make a good substitute, but the quince is other worldly.

Petalune Herbals Update:
This year I will be returning to teach at Brooklyn Grange, NY Open Center,  aswell as offering retreats at Rancho La Puerta in Baha, where I started teaching last Spring. Its a beautiful location, if you have the time to take a break.   I can also be found offering  my regular classes at Brooklyn Brainery and the NY and Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. New classes are added to the Public Class page as they are programmed.

During the month of January, I will be offering 10% off all products and 15% of all consults*, so get in touch if this is what’s next for you, and if you are a regular Petalune Herbals product lover then, check out the Protect Me Hand Salve, Soothe My Lungs, and Lip Stain, which are all new items.

Please visit our Corporate page, if you are interested to share a Petalune Herbals class with your co workers.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Wishing you all a year filled with happy hearts and brightened spirits.
Happy 2020.

*Get in touch with questions or if you want to place an order with one of the January discounts. Thanks. Email: [email protected]