How to Bake with Lemon Verbena

Overview

Lemon Verbena is considered by some to be the herb with the most intensive lemon flavor, according to oldfashionedliving.com. This herb is frost sensitive and won't live outdoors through the winter in cold areas. You can bring it inside, and although it may drop its leaves, it will grow again in the spring. Lemon verbena has many culinary uses including flavoring for teas, drinks, salad dressing, marinades and in stuffing for meat and poultry. Give your baked goods a lemony twist by incorporating lemon verbena into recipes.

Step 1

Prepare the leaves by first picking them off of the lemon verbena plant in the early part of the morning. Wash them by submerging in a sink of cold water. Swish the leaves around and then lift them up out of the water at least twice. The dirt drops to the bottom of the sink. Drain the leaves by placing them in a colander, then pat the leaves dry with paper towels.

Step 2

Use lemon verbena leaves fresh or dry. Dry the fresh leaves by spreading them in a single layer on a cookie sheet covered with a towel. Put the sheet in the oven on the lowest setting, and check the herbs after an hour. Turn them over and put them back in the oven until the leaves are dry and crisp.

Step 3

Place five or six leaves in a pint jar full of white sugar. Shake the jar to evenly distribute the sugar around the leaves. The leaves will dry out and flavor the sugar as they do so. Replace the sugar in your favorite sugar cookie recipe with the verbena-scented sugar.

Step 4

Steep one cup of verbena leaves in one cup of boiling water. Let cool. Use the water to replace half of the liquid called for in a recipe.

Step 5

Boil 1 cup of verbena leaves with 1/2 cup each of water and sugar. Stir until sugar has dissolved and remove from heat. Let cool. Brush the syrup on cookies and cakes, pie crusts and weet rolls.

Step 6

Combine verbena leaves with chopped nuts, citrus rind, cinnamon and sugar. Use in muffin recipes as the replacement for other berries or nuts. Replace one-quarter of the liquid called for in the recipe with orange juice for an extra citrus flavor.

Step 7

Finely chop 1/4 cup of lemon verbena leaves. Combine with 2 Tbsp. of chopped garlic, 1/4 cup of minced onion and 1/2 cup of butter. Roll out bread dough, either home prepared or store bought. Spread the bread dough with the verbena mixture. Roll up like a jelly roll and shape into loaves. Bake according to the recipe or package.

Things You'll Need

  • Lemon verbena
  • Colander
  • Paper towels
  • Cookie sheet
  • Pint jar
  • White sugar

References

  • Old Fashioned Living: Lemon Verbena
  • "Natural Beauty at Home"; Janice Cox; 1995
Keywords: lemon verbena cookies, lemon verbena bread, lemon verbena baking

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on GardenGuides.com, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.