Aromatherapy in the Kitchen
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Creams
Shared by our client Anita Reed:
Here’s my old family recipe for Peppermints.
- 3 1/2 lbs sugar
- 1 qt cream
- 1/4 heaping tsp cream of tartar
Put sugar and cream in a large kettle, stir until disolved, then set over medium heat, and stir until it begins to boil. Don’t bring the heat up too fast, or it may scorch or crystalize when poured. Add cream of tartar, then put in the candy thermometer and stir constantly moving the thermometer and stirring underneath to prevent sticking. (Don’t scrape the sides of the pan, and don’t cover the kettle).
Cook to 238 degrees. Pour out on a marble slab, previously moistened with cold water. Allow to stand until perfectly cold to the back of the hand.
When cold, cream the same as for bonbon creams using a paddle to work it until it sets in a hard ball.
Cover with a damp cloth and let it stand 30 or 40 minutes so that it will sweat enough to be taken up in the hands. Do not be discouraged when starting to work up the fudge, as it is very hard, but will soften up by kneading thoroughly. After you have softened it by working it with your hands, you may flavor as desired, mold into any shape desired, slice with a knife, cut into squares, coated with chocolate, or eaten at once.
For peppermints: add Midwestern USA Peppermint Oil (best for candy!!!) to taste to the softened ball (about 15 drops—or more). This is to taste, so take a small bite and check it out, add more peppermint if you need it. Try not to take too many bites, or it will be gone and you will have to start all over. When the flavor is “just right,” pinch off a walnut sized piece and roll in a ball. Place on waxed paper and then flaten slightly with the pad of the finger. When all the batch is made into patties, coat each piece with dark chocolate. Yum!
This is a very creamy, delicate fudge so you can flavor it any way you want. Other flavor substitutes instead of the peppermint oil:
Chocolate fudge: work in melted chocolate
Opera fudge: work in 1 tsp vanilla and about a cup of coarsely chopped nuts and coat with melted chocolate, chopped cherries, or citron
Cooking hint…if you bake muffins…stir one drop of any of our organic citrus oils into the batter for a morning fresh flavor.
Lavender Pound Cake
At a recent herb conference in Chattanooga, Gerry Vileniki was generous enough to share her famous lavender pound cake recipe:
- one box pound cake mix (I use Betty Crocker)
- 2 or 3 drops lavender essential oil (I would use organic!)
- and one tablespoon dried lavender blossoms, rinsed in cold water
That sounds wonderful. But I’m wondering what would happen if you substituted 1 drop of Rose Otto for the Lavender oil, and dried rose petals for the lavender buds???
Quick and Easy Lemon Pie
From my favorite Australian distiller
- 2 cups crushed biscuit (he means cookies for our american readers—I’d use either graham crackers or gingersnaps)
- 125 grams butter (4.4 ounces)
Melt butter, add to crushed biscuits. Press into spring form pan.
- 250 gms cream cheese (8 ounces)
- 1 tin sweetened condensed milk
- half cup of lemon juice
Beat cream cheese, gradually add condensed milk, then lemon juice. Add 1–2 drops Bc oil (Lemon Myrtle), stir. Pour into shell and chill.
No, this is not advocating internal use of Bc oil — it’s a flavouring, and we only try it at home. And I like it.
(My note…I’ve used both our organic lemon rind oil and the Lemon Myrtle oil in lemon meringue pies…both are wonderful…and save my knuckles!)
Mulled Wine or Cider
Another Christmas special to shake off that winter chill is mulled wine, and here essential oils can be used in place of the usual dried spices. Blend 1 drop each of cinnamon and clove and 2 drops each of orange and mandarin in 2 tablespoons of honey. Slowly heat 1 litre of red wine or of apple cider in a non-metallic pan, add the flavoured honey and stir well until the wine starts to bubble. Take off the heat and serve.
- 1-1 lb box 10X sugar (confectioners)
- 2 tablespoons softened butter or margarine
- 2 tablespoons shortening
- 1 teaspoon butter flavoring (don’t leave this out — I have and they are just not the same)
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 8–10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- 2–3 drops food coloring
Pour the first 3 ingredients together in a medium to large bowl in the hot water add a few drops of food coloring 8 to 10 drops of essential oils (I guess you could use spearmint, and maybe even rose) and the butter flavoring. Add to bowl and mix together with your hands until you have a very stiff dough. Press into mold/molds.
Makes 75 to 100 mints depending on the size of your mold.
— from my friend Cathy Baskin (soap maker extraordinaire)
Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 3 drops peppermint oil
- sweetened whipped cream for garnish
- candy canes
In a saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar and chocolate and cook until the mixture just begins to steam. Add the peppermint oil. Divide the hot chocolate into mugs and top with sweetened whip cream. Add a candy cane to each cup.
NOTE: Kids love this yummy drink.
Triple Orange Double Chocolate Biscotti
- 1 cup softened butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- zest of one orange
- juice of one orange
- 10 drops orange essential oil
- 3 cups flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325; grease a baking sheet. Combine butter, sugar, and eggs; stir well. Add the zest, juice, and essential oil. Stir in flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder until very well blended. Add chocolate chips. You may need to add more flour, depending on the size/juiciness of your orange. You want a soft dough that is easy to handle but not too sticky. Divide dough in half; shape each half into 5 by 10 inch logs. Place on baking sheet, and bake for about 25–30 minutes. Removed from oven and let cool thoroughly. When dough is cool, cut logs on the diagonal into 1/2 inch slices. Lay slices on baking sheet and bake about 8 minutes, then turn them over and bake the other side. You want them to be dry and lightly toasted, but not overdone! Remove from the oven, and cool. Enjoy!
Shared by Maggie at Prairie Land Herbs.
Orange Melt Aways
- 1 cup soft butter or margerine (I use butter!)
- 2 cups sifted confectioners sugar (divided!)
- 1 1/4 cup UNSIFTED flour
- 3/4 cup corn starch
- 3 tablespoons orange juice
- 3 drops sweet orange or blood orange essential oil
Cream butter with essential oil. Add 1/2 cup confectioners sugar and beat until fluffy. Beat in flour and corn starch until smooth. Cover and chill for at least two hours (overnight is better!).
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Roll the chilled dough into 1 inch balls, and place on an UNGREASED cookie sheet.
Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes until firm and barely golden. Cool slightly (they will be very fragile) and remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Mix remaining 1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar with the 3 tablespoons orange juice. Put wax paper under the cookies on the rack, and spoon the orange glaze over them.
Makes approximately 3 1/2 dozen cookies that freeze well, if you want to make them in advance.
My mother’s old Hot Milk Sponge Cake recipe, with a very special touch:
Butter and flour a 9 inch round cake pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat together until eggs are light, fluffy and thick.
Beat in until smooth:
- 1 drop pure Rose Otto (I used Bulgarian)
- Beat in 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 dash salt
Stir into the egg mixture. Will be VERY thick.
Heat until the butter melts
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
Add the hot milk mixture to the batter, stir QUICKLY together (work fast here, because the hot milk will start the baking powder rising before the cake is in the pan). Pour into prepared pan and put into the hot oven. Bake for 20–25 minutes until golden brown and the cake tests done.
Cool upside down on a rack. Split the cooled cake in half to make two layers.Fill with either raspberry jam or, if you are among the really lucky ones who have some, with some rose petal jam.
Sift some confectioners sugar over the top.
Stephanie Bowker loves the rose milk served at her favorite Indian restaurant, and came up with this homemade version using, of course, our Bulgarian Rose Hydrosol:
- 8 oz milk,
- 1 tsp hydrosol
- 1 tsp sugar
At the restaurant I think they add a drop of red food color ’cause it comes a lovely pink. I bet it would be good with Neroli too — I’ll have to try that.
Roses and Apples
Did you know that the rose and the apple were from the same family? I had forgotten. Discovered a wonderful way to blend the families, for a festive toast in place of champagne, or a romantic breakfast. Add about one part Rose Hydrosol to about six parts of apple juice. YUMMY….. Have yet to try it with sparkling cider, that’s next on the agenda. (And now I’m considering adding a single drop of Organic Rose Oil to a bottle of apple juice.)
Have I mentioned Neroli Hydrosol in coffee? Just a drop. Perhaps a ½ teaspoon in a large mug. Also yummy. (I don’t put cream in my coffee, not sure how it will work with “light” coffee.)
Old German Rose Water Sugar Cookies
Thanks to the Flower-Recipe E-Group for this recipe.
- 1 c. sugar
- 1/2 c. room temperature butter
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp. lemon extract (subst 3 or so drops of Lemon Oil for a much better flavor!)
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 c. sour cream
- 1 1/2 tsp. rose water (ie, Rose Hydrosol)
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 3 c. flour
Cream sugar and softened butter until smooth. Beat in yolk and flavorings. Combine baking soda and sour cream and stir into sugar mixture. Stir in rose water. Sift salt and flour; mix with batter. Roll out on floured surface and cut with cookie cutter.
Bake on greased sheets in preheated 325 degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes. Cooking time may shorten if cookies are small. This recipe has been enjoyed since 1850.
This version will give a very subtle rose flavor. If you want the flavor more pronounced, add a single drop of rose otto. (And I always use two or three drops of our organic Lemon oil in any recipe calling for lemon extract. I think the extract is yucky stuff ;).
If you are a white wine lover, add a teaspoon of our Rose Hydrosol to a glass of chilled dry white wine, for a romantic dinner a deux.