Tag Archives: cookies

Sesame Orange Cookies – a TCM-inspired recipe

As part of our herbal medicine education, we are asked to do a class project each term and the most common one chosen is to cook or bake something using some of the herbs we have learned. Here’s a simple cookie recipe using food-grade herbs.

Sesame Orange Cookies


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup baking sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp aged satsuma peel, chopped fine*
  • 3/4 cup black sesame seeds, ground*
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cardamon

*Organic is best. I used Hunza organic black sesame seeds and dried my own organic satsuma peels in the oven on low temperature.

Directions: In medium/small bowl, melt butter then stir in sugar. In large bowl, combine dry ingredients except flour. Add butter and sugar mixture to large bowl. Add egg and vanilla extract. Now, half cup at a time, slowly stir in flour. Once all ingredients are blended, hand roll small balls of dough and place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8 min or until bottom is lightly browned.

Adjustments: In future I would add additional Chen Pi at the end when rolling cookie balls to ensure every cookie has some peel. Maybe add in a tsp fresh tangerine juice or zest as well.


Herbs included:

Black Sesame Seeds (Pinyin: Hei Zhi Ma) – Tonify Yin (sweet, neutral)

  • Tonifies Liver and Kidneys, nourishes yin and blood, lubricates intestines
  • Lightly slows aging signs (graying hair, wrinkles, dry skin), aids constipation

Aged Tangerine Peel (Pinyin: Chen Pi) – Regulate Qi (spicy, bitter, warm, aromatic)

  • Promotes the flow of qi, dries damp and transforms phlegm, helps prevent stagnation
  • Aids digestion

Cardamon (Pinyin: Sha Ren) – Aromatic to Transform Damp (spicy, warm, aromatic)

  • Promotes movement of qi, transforms dampness, and strengthens SP
  • Aids digestion
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Fourth of July Cookie Baking

The fourth of July seemed like a great day for baking so I decided to make something new and something familiar. I can’t make cookies without Casey craving chocolate chip so I made the usual “family recipe” (the one on the back of the Nestle chocolate chips package). I can practically do those in my sleep and they are always tasty, especially when they come right out of the oven!

Chocolate Chip Cookies Up Close

For the something different I looked to Serious Eats since I’ve been marking recipes as favorites like crazy there. While I was very tempted to make the Spicy Hot Chocolate Pie, that will have to wait until my birthday. Casey and I decided we’d make that together to celebrate. But for the 4th I wanted something a little less ambitious, but just as tasty. Eureka! Chewy Ginger Cookies with Cardamom and Black Pepper. I made them as described other than the candied ginger, which I had to leave out since I just could not find at my local Safeway. I’d like to try it with that another time, though. Oh and I used regular sugar (not coarse) for rolling, but I couldn’t see or taste a marked difference there. Nex time I’d also amp up the amounts of black pepper and cardamom. They’re tasty ginger snaps, but it’s hard to tell there’s anything really different about them unless you know what to pay attention to. Continue reading

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