One of the best herb powders to try is Ashwagandha Powder. Ashwagandha has many healthful benefits such as reducing stress and anxiety, promoting healthy sleep patterns (and deeper, more restful sleep), enhancing memory and cognition, and it is also packed with antioxidants for the maintenance of good health.
Ashwagandha powder truly does have a unique taste. Although it is commonly referred to as Winter Cherry, the taste does not resemble that of fruit. Ashwagandha powder has a more earthy, slightly bitter taste to it. Although the taste of the powder is not sweet, it can still be used in many different baked goods, desserts, and smoothies.
Baking with Ashwagandha Powder
In our Winter Cherry Cookies recipe, the sugar and butter do well to mask the bitterness of the Ashwagandha powder. It is also best to use baking soda rather than baking powder, as the baking powder has a bitter taste as well.
Another important factor in masking the bitterness of the Ashwagandha powder is to make sure that there are no clumps in the powder. Always keep Ashwagandha powder in a sealed container in a cool, dry place at room temperature. Make sure that you mix the dry ingredients together with a whisk to ensure that they are well blended before combining them with the wet ingredients.
The Winter Cherry Cookies recipe calls for dried cherries, however you can use fresh cherries or frozen cherries if you prefer. If using frozen cherries, make sure they are completely thawed and sliced to ensure they contain no pits.
If the texture of the dried cherries is too firm for your taste and you do not have fresh or frozen cherries available, you can also try reconstituting them. To do this place 1 cup of dried cherries and ½ cup water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Once it starts to boil turn down the heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently. When the cherries are plump and the water is mostly gone, remove the pan from the stove top and place the cherries in a heat-proof glass bowl to cool off. Make sure that the cherries are completely cooled off before adding them to the cookie dough.
The second to last step of the recipe is to refrigerate the dough balls for 2 hours. This step is largely optional, as it does not necessarily affect the taste of the cookies. I have personally found it to enhance the moistness and texture of all cookies that I bake- not just the ones with Ashwagandha powder. If you’re in a rush or you don’t find it useful you can certainly skip this step and get straight to the baking!