When these festive green cookies popped up on a friend’s feed recently, I knew we had to have them on our pages! A sourdough cookie recipe with functional ingredients like nettles is an absolute TCM bullseye.
The baker behind these bites is Danielle Michaan, the creator of Coco et Sel and a culinary creative who is endlessly inspired by farmer’s market produce to her friends and family’s delight at home in Montecito, California.
Danielle’s recipe will thrill wellness lovers, but trust us when we say these cookies are delicious — if you need to coerce kids or other family members to try them, simply call them ‘Grinch Cookies’ and you’ll be good to go!
Learn a bit about sourdough in our Sourdough 101 story and let us know if you have questions for the baker in the comments below! Here’s Danielle with a few notes…
Sourdough lovers, this is the sugar cookie for you! They are soft and chewy with a hint of almond and lots of vanilla. They get their grinch-y green color from stinging nettles. Nettles add a wild earthy note and nourishing properties too. Plus the vibrant green shade is perfectly festive for the holidays. Pop them in the fridge for an hour or long ferment them for a puffier cookie that’s easy on the belly.
A Few Things To Know About Nettles
Stinging nettles have been foraged for centuries for their nourishing properties. They can improve circulation, lower blood sugar, and support the kidneys, urinary tract and nervous system. They have also been used for allergies, arthritis and skin ailments such as eczema.
The leaves and stems of nettle are covered with small hairs that do indeed sting! The spiny leaves must be handled with care and prepared properly to eliminate their stinging powers.
Nettles peak in the spring when the leaves are the sweetest, most tender and nutrient dense. They have a deep herbaceous flavor that makes a wild replacement for spinach. They work beautifully in savory recipes but I love dreaming up ways to use them in sweets. Their flavor pairs well with flavors like vanilla, lemon, mint and matcha.
I buy my nettles at my local farmers market. Nettles prefer moist soil and can commonly be found in the countryside, near forests and riverbanks. If you are foraging your own bring scissors and a pair gloves!
If you can’t source fresh nettles, you could also use about 1-2 tablespoons of dried nettles from Mountain Rose or Starwest Herbs. If necessary, simply leave them out altogether—they’re still one of the best sugar cookies I’ve ever had.
Sourdough Sugar Cookies with Nettles
Makes 10 large cookies
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
8 tbsp grass-fed unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 bunch (about 6 oz) fresh nettles. Can’t source them fresh? No problem! Use 1-2 tablespoons of dried loose leaf nettles
1 large egg plus 1 yolk, at room temperature
1/4 cup sourdough discard (the leftovers once your sourdough starter has peaked – so sustainable!)
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup sugar for rolling
Directions: Make the nettle butter…
1. Prepare the nettles: pick the leaves off the nettles and wash well.
2. Bring a pot of filtered water to boil and add the nettles. Simmer for 3-5 minutes.
3. Drain (save the water for tea!) and plunge into a bowl of ice water. Squeeze the excess liquid and finely chop the nettles.
4. Add the nettles to a food processor with the butter and process until smooth.
Directions: Make the cookies…
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
3. Add the egg and yolk and mix until well combined.
4. Add the vanilla, almond extract and sourdough discard mixing on low speed until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture and mix on low speed for about 20 to 30 seconds just until the dough begins to come together. Do not over mix.
6. Scoop 2 oz portions of the cookie dough and use your hands to roll the dough into balls. 6. Roll the dough in a small bowl filled with the 1/4 cup granulated sugar and coat all sides.
7. Place the cookie dough balls on a parchment lined baking sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to 2 days for a longer fermentation. For best results, I like the texture and taste when they sit in the fridge for 12-24 hours best!
8. Preheat the oven to 350°F. When the dough is chilled, place the balls on a separate parchment lined baking sheet, spacing them 2 to 3 inches apart.
9. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are set and begin to turn a golden brown. The tops of the cookies should be puffy and cracked.
10. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before using a spatula to transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack.