I LOVE lavender! The color, the look, the smell, and yes, the taste of it. Lavender and I are "buds" (yeah, I know...sometimes I can't help myself). I also love to cook. And bake. I suppose that I should admit that there are times when there's a full-on cooking extravaganza that goes on in my kitchen involving all of my small appliances, several bowls and ingredients that need to be hauled in by truck...okay, maybe it's not THAT bad.
This is culinary lavender. Specifically, French lavender. It's mild and it makes WONDERFUL cookies. Like these.
Don't be afraid. I only had about ten minutes for lunch today (which is when I mixed the dough) so this is NOT an extravaganza. The photo above is ALL of the ingredients. Yep, that's right, all SIX of them. Had I not been trying to make things "beautiful" to show them to you, I would have made the entire recipe using one bowl. The longest part of the process is the time that they spent in the refrigerator while I went back to work.
Lemon and Lavender Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine June, 2002
- MAKES ABOUT 1 1/2 DOZEN COOKIES
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon dried lavender blossoms, finely chopped
- 1 1/4 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a medium bowl, mix the sugar with the chopped lavender and grated lemon zest. Using an electric mixer, beat in the butter at moderate speed. At low speed, beat in the flour and salt until a soft dough forms. Transfer the dough to a sheet of wax paper and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Form the dough into a 4-inch log and chill for at least 45 minutes longer.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Slice the dough into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and place the rounds on ungreased baking sheets. Freeze the rounds for 10 minutes until the butter chills.
- Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Transfer the baked shortbread to a wire rack to cool completely.
Make Ahead The cookie dough log can be frozen for up to 1 month. Thaw slightly before slicing. The baked shortbread cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
This recipe makes a tiny batch of cookies. About a dozen and a half. Around my house, this is a good thing because the men that I live with think that these cookies are way too "girly". Of course, they eat them anyway. But there's grumbling. And some not-so-subtle references to chocolate chips.
P.S. The flowers tucked into the napkin are from my garden: Hidcote Lavender and Nigella, "Love in a Mist." How adorable is THAT for a flower name?!