I tend to get seduced by recipes and so I have all of these special spices and herbs around the kitchen. When a colleague baked some lavender cookies, I, of course, went on a search for the best dried edible lavender. Growing up, lavender grew like a weed in our backyard and every year my mother and I would dry it and then sew sachets for gifts and to put in our drawers. I still remember the beautiful amber colored watered silk that we used to contrast with the pretty lavender colored ribbon that we tied around the sachet. While these cookies will most definitely NOT go in my lingerie drawer, they do evoke that wonderful childhood memory. However, they do not taste like potpourri or soap. They taste like Provence, the flavoring is actually quite subtle and they simply melt in your mouth. While not vegan, they do not have any egg. They could be made with vegan buttery sticks, but since butter is the star here, personally I would not go that route. Your choice.
Lavender Shortbread Cookies by Erica Leahy, The Artist Baker – Morristown, NJ and tweaked by me
Yield: About 2 dozen cookies
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on cookies
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh lavender or 1.5 teaspoons dried lavender buds
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- Zest of one small lemon or a few drops of real lemon extract
- In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, and salt until thoroughly combined, about 3 minutes. In a separate bowl, sift together the all-purpose and cake flours. Mix the flour mixture into the butter mixture in 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between each addition. Add the lavender, lemon zest and mint and mix to just combine. The dough will appear crumbly but will come together when rolled in plastic wrap.
- Roll out the dough to a long roll about 2.5 inches in diameter, using the plastic wrap to form the dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch thick disks and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake the cookies until just golden at the edges, about 25 to 28 minutes. Ovens vary so watch them after 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with granulated or casting sugar. Let cool completely before serving. While these will be delicious with coffee or milk, the true, delicate floral notes will come out with a nice light tea or a dessert wine.