In celebration of the early spring which we in Mexico enjoy I decided to use the extravagant lavender from my garden. I chose lavender shortbread for their buttery flavor and crisp contrasted by the pungent and floral lavender flowers. These cookies are great for tea and will keep for quite a long time. Make lots since family members will make them fly off the plate!
The lavender I grow is French Lavender (lavandula dentata) since I have not been able to find the more delicate English variety. In comparison this kind is more pungent and has tones of camphor and mint but is just as floral and sweet.
To start the cookies I cut a handful of fresh lavender stalks. They say dried is better but who even has time to pick this stuff ahead of time? I rinsed the stalks in water several times to clean them and separated the flowers and buds from the hard stalks. I then rinsed these and dried them between towels.
First in a small bowl whisk or sieve the flour and salt.
The butter, the same one from Saturday’s apple pie, local and amazing as always. Make sure its soft and at room temperature.
You want to start by creaming your butter for about 3 minutes until its light in color and fluffy.
Scrape down the bowl a few times to get it all.
Now add the granulated sugar and beat until even fluffier and lighter.
Once your sugar and butter are done add the beautiful lavender.
And mix until the buds are incorporated throughout. Now you want to add your vanilla extract and repeat.
Once this is done add your flour, half the bowl at a time twice and mixing in between, and blend until it is barely incorporated.
Using a spatula gather the dough, cover it with plastic or aluminum and refrigerate it for about half an hour while you clean up and preheat the oven, to 325° f.
Pull the dough out of your fridge and while still cold make balls about 3/4 of an inch in your hand, place them on a greased or lined baking sheet and press them with the palm of your hand below your thumb for a flat top. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden. Notice I overcooked them a little which I strongly warn against.
A tad over baked but good nonetheless!
Now pour yourself a cup of tea and grab a cookie. You’re supposed to wait for them to cool down, but I won’t tell anyone :)
Quite British Lavender Shortbread
Yields about 50 small cookies
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (225 grams) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 3 teaspoons fresh lavender flowers and buds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a small bowl sift or whisk together the flour and salt, put it to the side.
- In a large bowl cream the butter until it is light and fluffy, about three minutes on medium speed. Scrape down the bowl if necessary.
- To the butter add the granulated sugar and beat until the mixture is fluffy and almost white, about three minutes. Scrape down the bowl if necessary.
- Add the lavender and vanilla extract and mix just until combined.
- Add the flour mixture in two parts mixing it on low twice, mixing just until a stiffer dough forms.
- Scrape down the bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Grease or line a baking sheet.
- Preheat your oven to 325°.
- Make small balls with the dough, about an inch and a half in diameter, place them on the baking sheet and press them with the palm of your hand.
- Bake the cookies in the middle rack of the oven for about 20 minutes or until they are lightly golden.