Cookie Recipes: Baking with Essential Oils Safely
By Sue Dwiggins
I love holiday baking! Every year I teach a holiday class that shows participants how baking with essential oils can be done safely and deliciously. So when my sister Caryn, asked me to share my cookie recipes that use essential oils with the e3 community, I was happy to oblige.
I’m a certified clinical aromatherapist with an aromatherapy company in Raleigh, North Carolina. During my baking classes, my participants are initially surprised when I tell them they’re going to be baking with essential oils since as a general rule I preach NO INGESTING of essential oils. (Caryn has a couple of great posts you should read – one on the dangers of ingesting oils and one on cooking with edible lavender.)
There’s a reason why baking with essential oils in these recipes is an exception to this rule. These recipes use 2 -3 drops in a large recipe. That is not unsafe, especially when compared to how some are using a high dilution of essential oils in water. Not a good idea! You’ll find that the few drops in the recipes below add some delicious and intriguing flavor to some traditional holiday favorites. The cookies also freeze nicely! So nice as gifts since you can get them ready ahead of time.
Old-Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies
2-1/2 C All Purpose Flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 C Lavender Sugar (recipe to follow)
1/2 C butter (1 stick) softened
1 C 100% Pure Libby’s Pumpkin
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 C sifted powdered sugar
3 TBLS milk
1 TBLS melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 drops Orange Wild Essential Oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease baking sheets or use parchment paper. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Drop a rounded tablespoon onto prepared baking sheets.
Bake for 15-18 min. or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 min., remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle with glaze.
FOR GLAZE – Combine 2 Cups sifted powdered sugar, 3 TBLS milk, 1 TBLS melted butter, 1 tsp. vanilla extract and 2 drops of Orange Wild essential oil in a small bowl until smooth.
2 C granulated sugar
2 TBLS Culinary Lavender Buds
I have a small food processor so I begin with 1 C granulated sugar and 1 TBLS Lavender Buds.
Grind for approximately 4-5 minutes until the Lavender buds small and fine. Follow with the other half of the recipe.
This makes a pretty gift! I have also substituted Lavender Sugar for other recipes that call for sugar.
Lavender Sugar Cookies
3 C All Purpose white flour
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 C (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into chunks
1 C minus 2 TBLS lavender sugar
1 large egg (room temperature)
1 TBLS whole or low fat milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. grated fresh lemon zest
In a large bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine the butter and lavender sugar in a mixer bowl, beating on low speed until blended. On medium speed beat until the mixture is very light and fluffy, about 2 min. Beat in the egg, milk, vanilla, and lemon zest until very well blended and smooth. Gradually beat or stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture to form a smooth, slightly firm, but not at all dry dough. Stir in up to 3 TBLS additional flour if the dough seems wet. Let stand 5 – 10 min. to firm up slightly.
Divide the dough in half. Place each portion between large sheets of wax paper or parchment. Roll out each portion to a scant 1/4 inch thick. Be sure the dough is evenly thick and check underside occasionally and smooth out any wrinkles. Stack the rolled portions (paper still attached) on baking sheet. Refrigerate for about 45 min. or until cold and firm.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Generously grease several large baking sheets or bake on parchment paper. Working with one dough portion at a time and leaving the other chilled, gently peel away the paper and lay on counter top to begin using your cookie cutters. Cooking time 8 – 11 min. until cookies are lightly colored on top and edges are slightly darker.
GLAZE – Use the Glaze recipe above (Pumpkin Cookie) and substitute the essential oil of Orange Wild with Lemon Essential Oil.
The recipes above have been a big hit every year! They’re great as gifts since the cookies can be baked in advance and frozen. Please join e3 on Facebook and let us know how you like baking with essential oils in these recipes. And if you ever have any questions on the safe use of essential oils check with Caryn’s team of clinical aromatherapists.