Rose Geranium Sugar Cookies

I was a last minute reader for the latest Cook the Books Club pick, Garden Spells  by Sarah Addison Allen.

This selection was a bit different from the last few books picked by the Club.   How would I categorize this novel?  Is it really a “foodie”  book?  I didn’t know.

And besides that, there were no recipes.  (I feel like a kid saying that there were no pictures!)  I think that is why it took me so long to start the book.  But, as soon as I started it,  I could not put it down.   As I read,  I had flashes of To Kill a Mockingbird,  In the Garden of Good and Evil,  and even some vague reminders of Flannery O’Connor.    Put this all together with a botanical twist and you have Garden Spells.   I was certainly under a  spell myself and in no time at all, my creative spirit kicked in and I started thinking about all sorts of sweet and savory dishes I could make from the herbs and flowers growing in my own garden.

I love lavender so I knew I could do something there.  I have posted about lavender sugar,  lavender herbed salt,  and lavender sugar cookies in the past.   Lavender, according to  “From the Waverley Kitchen Journal”  in the back of the book,  “Raises spirits.  Prevents bad decisions resulting from fatigue or depression.”

I sorely need to revisit lavender, I thought.

I love rosemary as well and have that monster rosemary bush in the herb garden.  And, as I searched my site, I found LOTS of dishes that incorporate this herb.

But then I read about Claire’s rare rose geranium wine with all of its mystical powers of remembrance.  Since I have been on a nostalgic kick lately (and since I had some rose geranium sugar that I had been meaning to experiment with),  rose geranium was going to be my herb of choice for this post.

To quote “From the Waverley Kitchen Journal,” again:

Rose Geranium—Produces memories of past good times.  Opposite of Hyacinth Bulb.  A time-travel flower.

I adapted this recipe from my lavender sugar cookie recipe (which I adapted from the Gourmet Cookbook.)  So setting out with my home-made Rose Geranium Sugar,  I made up a batch of magical,  mystery cookies.

Rose Geranium  Sugar Cookies
Inspired by Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

1/2 c. geranium sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. powdered sugar
1 1/4 t. fine sea salt
1 t. baking soda
1 t. cream of tartar
1 c. light olive or canola oil
2 large farm fresh eggs
1 t. pure vanilla extract
4 c. flour
more powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Whisk together geranium, granulated and powdered sugars in a medium mixing bowl.  Add salt, soda, and cream of tartar.  Whisk together.  Place in the bowl of  a stand mixer equipped with the paddle attachment.  While mixer is running,  add oil,  eggs,   and vanilla and mix until combined.  Slowly add flour until a stiff dough forms.  (Make sure you scrape the bottom of the mixing bowl periodically.)  The dough is fairly crumbly and resembles a short bread dough.

The dough will be crumbly before you form it into balls.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Using a small ice cream scoop, place balls of dough about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.

These balls are a bit bigger than a quarter.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Remove to cooling racks and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Garnished with a bit of Rose Geranium leaves.

Yield:  About 5 dozen cookies.  This recipe can be easily cut in half for a smaller batch. 

Just like Claire used her powers of über perception to notice every nuance of her garden (like the encroaching ivy alerting her that someone was about to creep into her own life), I wonder what we all could learn IF we took the time to notice messages from our own garden?

Although I wanted to take my pillow out in the garden and sleep like Claire often does in the novel, I did not (it was too hot!).  But I would love to get my hands on a Waverley apple.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone.  (Did I hear that they were making a movie?)

And, even though there were no recipes in the novel, you can go to Allen’s website and find a few recipes that Claire made in the book.

I am thinking these mystical cookies could rival Proust’s madeleines.

Other Cook the Books posts:

Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa inspired by An Embarrassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoof.  (I won with this post!)

Mint Tea from Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard.

The next Cook the Books pick is A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg.  (Luckily, I have this one in my archives!)

14 comments to Rose Geranium Sugar Cookies

  • I’m so glad you enjoyed the book. These rose geranium cookies look lovely and must taste and smell so tempting. What a beautiful leaf they have as well. I’ll have to look into planting some in my own garden.

    • Eliot

      I have pots of rose geranium on the kitchen step, on the garage step, in hanging pots, in the herb garden!!! I love it that you can walk almost anywhere and brush by it to get a great scent. I hope you plant some!

  • Congrats on your previous win (isn’t that fun?), and for your great presentation this time around as well! What gorgeous cookies, and I love the floral concept! I’ll be so glad when we add pretty edibles too! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Anyone who cites Flannery O’Connor is an immediate friend, but your rose geranium cookies would have done the trick on their own. A most imaginative entry.

  • I love the idea of using rose geranium because I was very entranced by the wine in the book. I had no idea it was so easy to plant them (but immediately looked it up after finishing the book). I can only imagine how good these taste, and can’t wait to try them! Thanks for the inspiration…I’m so happy to be a part of CTB!

  • I was about to ask about where I can get the geranium sugar and then I saw your link. Thank you! I am definitely trying these this weekend. Will let you know how they turn out.

  • Now I have added Rose Geranium to my list of items to pick up at the garden shop. Can’t believe I haven’t grown them before. Your cookies as well as the sugar recipe are also on my to do list.

  • Those cookies look delightful!

  • They look absolutely magic! What beautiful cookies!

  • Just lovely! They are definitely magical…I’d love to get my hands on that plate 😉

  • The rose geranium wine in the book made me really curious. I am afraid I am not very good with geraniums. However, my jasmin is trying to creep into the house… Your cookies looks really pretty.

  • I really wanted to go find rose geraniums to make the wine but I like your cookies even better! 😉 They are so cute and perfect. Great entry!

  • Eliot

    Thanks for all these lovely comments. And, just to let everyone know, scented geraniums are super easy to propagate. Honestly, find a friend with some and take a clipping. Throw it in some dirt and there you are. (I do always use a little rooting hormone, though, but I am told they will root just fine without it.) I wish I could magically send you all clippings!