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Lavender Shortbread Cookies to Die For
Lavender Shortbread Cookies Dusted with Sifted Icing Sugar... Can You Say Sinfully Good & Slightly Exotic?
How I Discovered Lavender Shortbread
I visited a lavender farm up in River John, Nova Scotia, and was treated to fields purpled over in a misty haze and air that smelled divine, scented from row-upon-row of lavender plants.
I stepped under an awning and into a large tent and saw table after table loaded with food and skincare products made with lavender. I picked out a few items and stepped outside where there were long tables loaded with food. And something caught my interest. I saw a plate of lavender shortbread cookies and the sign invited people to sample them. I took a tentative bite, having never before tasted lavender, and I was entranced. What a unique flavor combo. I've always loved shortbread and flavored as these cookies were with a hint of delicate lavender, I bit into something truly special. I purchased a packet of culinary lavender buds on the spot and came home and made these cookies. They were every bit as good as the ones I sampled at the lavender farm and I added the recipe to my stash of tried-and-true sweet treats. I hope you enjoy these cookies as much as I do.
Using Culinary Lavender
Lavender goes particularly well with sugar so it makes an excellent ingredient when baking sweet treats. While you may have thought of lavender as a fragrant plant that grows in the home garden and suitable for a pretty show of purple blooms or as a plant that is a favorite for using in crafting, lavender can also be used in the home kitchen for baking and cooking with, to flavor dessert items and even meat. It adds a delightful twist to whatever you are preparing.
Home cooks can add culinary lavender buds (lavandula angustifolia) to sugar or honey, to frosting or icing, and to whipped cream. Lavender buds can be sprinkled over vanilla ice cream or added into shortbread cookie dough as will be seen in this article. Adding the buds imparts a wonderful flavor. Picture if you will the slightly crispy/crumbly texture of rich shortbread lightly flavored with a subtle floral note--truly sublime and yet another way to make shortbread.
You can serve these cookies plain or dust them with sifted icing sugar, as seen in the first picture. I find the sifted icing sugar adds a special touch. I like to use a scalloped-edged cookie cutter, which makes these cookies look so pretty.
This article offers step-by-step instructions and by the time you finish reading, you will be able to make your own lavender shortbread. The cookies use few ingredients and take just minutes to prepare but the results are well worth it.
About Culinary Lavender
Different types of lavender can be seen growing in home gardens and in fields but some varieties are favored for cooking with. This includes lavandula angustifolia. Lavenders known to have the sweetest fragrance are considered the best choice for baking and cooking.
What You'll Need to Make Lavender Shortbread
To make the cookies seen in this article, you will need to purchase culinary lavender buds. These usually come in small packets. If you can't find culinary lavender in your local area, you can order lavender from lavender farm websites or online lavender vendors. In recent years, in the Americas, it has become more readily available.
Ingredients for Lavender Shortbread
Recipe for Shortbread Cookies With Lavender
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 1/2 corn starch, sifted
- 1 1/2 cups flour, sifted
- 3 tbsp. culinary lavender buds
Mixing Cookie Ingredients
1 cup butter
Make sure your butter is soft to start with so that it is easy to cream, prior to adding the other ingredients. Using room temperature butter makes the process so much easier and saves on preparation time. If you are stuck and only have frozen butter, defrost it in the microwave.
Add 1/2 cup icing sugar
Sift in icing sugar into the creamed butter and work with a wooden spoon or beaters until mixture is well blended, ensuring that no icing sugar lumps remain.
Do sift. This is an important step that lends a delightful texture to your cookies.
Adding Sifted Icing Sugar
Adding Corn Starch
Sift in 1/2 cup corn starch + 1 1/2 cups of flour
It is important to sift dry ingredients as shown on this page, so cookies have a light, melt-in-the-mouth texture.
Sifted Flour and Cornstarch
Stir mixture gently with a wooden spoon, then work with hands, kneading until cookie dough forms a ball.
Now For The Fun Part... Adding The Lavender!
Add 3 tbsp. culinary lavender buds
Mix until buds are evenly distributed throughout cookie dough. You may be tempted to add more lavender. Don't. When using lavender buds for baking, remember, a little goes a very long way. Lavender is very strong aromatic plant and can easily take over the flavor. You want a hint, not a huge amount.
Adding Culinary Lavender to Shortbread Cookie Dough
Now I Know You'll Be Sampling This Before You Even Cut Out Your Cookies
Sprinkle a light dusting of flour on your counter and roll out cookie dough. Cut into desired shapes with a fluted cookie cutter and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Place this sheet onto a second cookie sheet.
Cookies Ready for the Oven
Baking and Storing Instructions
♥ Set oven rack at the mid-point and bake in a 300-degree oven for 15-20 minutes, making sure that cookies do not over-brown.
♥ Reduce heat towards end of cooking time.
♥ Remove cookies from oven and cool in pan.
♥ If desired, dust cookies with sifted icing sugar.
♥ Store in a covered container when completely cool.
Baked Golden Brown--You Know How Good These Are Going to Taste
If you are going to dust your cookies with icing sugar, do so while cookies are still warm. As the powdered sugar melts slightly, it forms into its own special "icing."
Did You Catch The Baking Tips in This Hub?
- Make sure your butter is soft, not hard, which makes mixing these cookies a snap.
- Do sift. You may be tempted to take shortcuts but sifting gives these cookies such a lovely texture. And it only takes seconds.
- Knead shortbread dough gently with hands.
- Make sure you double-pan, so your cookie bottoms don't over-brown.
- Oven rack should be midway in oven.
- Check cookies and reduce heat as you near last half of cooking time. This reduces over-browning around edges.
Ready For a Bite?
Have You Tried Lavender Shortbread?
Learn More About Culinary Lavender
A New Twist On an Old Classic
Adding lavender to shortbread gives a new twist to a classic cookie. If you are a shortbread lover, it never hurts to add one more recipe to your repertoire.
*Copyright Athlyn Green (M. Rhodes). No part of this article may be copied.
© 2010 Athlyn Green