Aromatherapy Tea Cookies
A Napa-based bakery has combined sugar and spice to create a treat that’s very, very nice.
Botanical Bakery’s Sondra Wells insists she’s not really a baker, just a “foodie with an entrepreneurial spirit,” but her shortbread tea cookies insist otherwise. Mixing organic herbs and spices with unbleached red flour from Giustos in San Francisco and organic sweet cream butter from the Strauss Family Creamery, Wells’ garden shortbreads not only offer health properties inherent in plants like lavender and sage, but also provide the means for (almost) guilt-free indulgence.
“The delicately sweet, subtle botanical flavors of our Garden Shortbread … are truly a passion of culinary art,” Wells writes on Botanical Bakery’s website.
The self-proclaimed “planter, baker and shortbread maker” fell into the business in the way many artisans do–high praise and prodding from family and friends. She first served up her Lavender Shortbread cookies more than a decade ago at a dinner party, but it took five years for her to begin writing a business plan and another five to find the divine inspiration to follow through with it.
Today Botanical Bakery offers 11 unique flavors including Cinnamon Basil, Fennel Pollen, Cardamom, Thai Chili, and ‘Naked,’ — Wells’ take on plain, pure shortbread.
To guide consumers in the tasting process, Wells suggests drink pairings for each cookie on both her website and the back of the cookies’ packaging. Her suggestions appeal to the beverage of your fancy as she points out a tea, coffee and wine that goes best with every shortbread. For instance the Fennel Pollen partners nicely with a delicate white or deep black tea, Sumatra coffee, and Cabernet Franc or Cambria Pinot Noir while the Lemon Thyme are “wonderful” with a Chinese green tea, Breakfast Blend coffee, or citrusy white wine like a Sauvignon Blanc.
This thought behind her craft is what makes Wells a standout amongst a growing community of artisans.
“There is something about working with your hands,” she told Abe’s Market in a 2010 interview. “Incorporating the organic herbs and spices into the dough is very satisfying. I love the way the kitchen smells both as we are preparing the dough and as it is baking. True aromatherapy. I find it intoxicating.”
Wells’ cookies can be purchased online or at the Whole Foods Market in San Francisco.
That’s the stuff good treats are made of.
Photo from DailyCandy