Lavender Sugar and Cookie Recipes
Since I wrote my last Hub, Cooking With Lavender Tips, I’ve done more experimenting and have some more recipes to share. While I know not everyone is open to experimenting with cooking with flowers, especially the very fragrant lavender, I’ve come up with a few compromises that I feel will appeal to a wider range of lavender newbies.
Lavender Sugar Recipe
Lavender sugar is very easy to make. The bonus for newbie lavender cooks is that you don’t have to put the lavender buds directly into the recipe you’re making. Instead, you’re creating fragrant lavender infused sugar that you can substitute for plain sugar in your recipes (try it in your next batch of lemonade!).
To begin, you will need one air-tight container that can accommodate the amount of lavender sugar you intend to create. You may also use a Ziploc baggie in place of a lidded container for your lavender sugar.
2 cups of granulated sugar or powdered sugar
½ cup dried (not fresh) culinary lavender blossoms
Mix well and pour into air-tight container or Ziploc bag. Store the mixture in the container for a minimum of 2 weeks before using. The longer it is stored, the stronger the flavor.
When you're ready to use the sugar, pour the sugar through a wire sieve to separate the buds from the sugar. The lavender buds may be reused several times for flavoring sugar before their potency diminishes.
Lavender Shortbread Cookie Recipe
I’ve enjoyed making lavender shortbread cookies with dried lavender buds in them, but some people are turned off either by the color (the buds turn a slightly gray or light brown color when baked), or they don’t like the texture of the buds. The following recipe is one that I created to try and appease those who want to try lavender cookies, but didn’t like the buds in the cookies.
This recipe is made easiest in an 8” x 8” square pan, or by using an 8” diameter pie or cake pan- the dough can simply be pressed evenly into these pans. Tin or metal pans work best for these cookies. Reduce baking time by 3-5 minutes if using glassware to bake the shortbread.
Preheat the oven to 324 degrees Fahrenheit.
1 ½ cups of softened salted butter (not margarine)
2/3 cup lavender sugar (recipe above using granulated sugar)
¼ cup of sifted confectioners’ sugar
2 ½ cups rice flour (all-purpose flour may be substituted)
½ cup of corn starch
¼ teaspoon salt
In a large bowl cream the butter and sugars together until well blended. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, corn starch and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter and sugar, mixing well each time until combined. The dough will be moist, but slightly crumbly, when completely mixed.
Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place into the pan. Press the dough evenly in the pan, pushing the dough against the edges of the pan. Take a fork and prick the dough through to the bottom of the pan. One of the easiest ways to do this evenly is to make a cross pattern to begin with in the pan and then continue making prick marks (about 1/2 inch apart) until they are spread evenly in the dough.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. The dough will be golden brown on the top when done.
When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Then take a sharp knife and cut the shortbread into even squares if in a square pan or into slices if it was baked in a pie or cake pan. Then allow the shortbread to finish cooling in the pan.
Once cooled completely, the shortbread can be stored in an airtight container in a cool place for up to 2 weeks. The flavor of the lavender may also seem more intense the longer the cookies are stored.
Dried Lavender Tips
If you are new to cooking with dried lavender, try buying the smallest amount of dried lavender available (usually 4 ounces) before investing in a larger amount, or you may want to share it with a friend who also wants to try lavender recipes. If you find you don't like cooking with lavender, you could always use the lavender as potpourri!
Want to make your lavender shortbread cookies look more festive? Try sprinkling lavender colored sugar on the cookies prior to baking them.
Store unused dried lavender in an airtight container to prolong the freshness. It is also advisable to store it in a cool, dark area in order to preserve the lavender color of the buds.
Purveyors of Dried Culinary Lavender
- San Francisco Herb Company
San Francisco Herb Co. provides wholesale pricing on bulk spices, herbs, teas, potpourri and other gourmet, organic products.
- Hood River Lavender
Organic culinary lavender tea, Gorge Wind and Tranquil-a-Tea, herbs de provence, sel gris grey salt, vanilla lavender pear jelly, signature angustifolia culinary, and lavender recipes from Hood River Lavender.
- Cedarbrook Lavender and Herbs