How to Grow, Harvest and Use Windowsill Herbs for Holiday Cookies

Christmas is right around the corner. Can't you taste your favorite holiday cookies? This year, expand your baking repertoire with treats that use homegrown herbs. Herbs are easy to grow on your windowsill, and you'll appreciate their aromatic flavor throughout the holiday baking season.

Which Herbs can you Use?

From lavender and rosemary to mint and thyme, dozens of herbs make delicious additions to your holiday baking. If you're a novice at windowsill gardening, we suggest you pick and grow your favorite herb this year. Or grow herbs based on the herbal cookie recipes you find online or in your grandmother's cookbooks. 

Some of our favorites include:

  • Lemon Thyme Drops
  • Lavender Meringues
  • Fresh Mint Chocolate Meltaways
  • Rosemary-Orange Marmalade Thumbprint Cookies
  • Savory Rosemary Thyme Shortbread

What do you Need to Grow Herbs?

Because herbs are relatively easy to grow, you really only need a few tools. Find seeds in herbal starting kits at your local garden center or ask a gardening friend for a few herb shoots from his or her garden. Then, plant the seeds or growing plants in nutrient-rich soil in containers with adequate drainage. Water the plants when the soil feels dry and watch your herbs thrive.

How do you Harvest the Herbs?

Once the plants have reached maturity, your herbs are ready to be harvested. Simply snip off the stem and pull or cut off the leaves which are now ready to be frozen or dried.

Low-moisture herbs like thyme, rosemary and marjoram can be air dried. Simply arrange them on a tray and sit it in your spare room or attic until the leaves are brittle. High-moisture herbs like basil and mint store best when they're dried in the oven or a dehydrator. No matter which method you use, place the dried herbs in an air-tight container or bag and store them in a cool, dry place or freeze them until you're ready to bake.

Can't you just taste and smell freshly baked cookies? This year, your kitchen will be especially flavorful as you grow, harvest and bake with homegrown herbs. Happy baking!

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