When it comes to cookies I like to consider myself somewhat of an expert. Not because of any schooling I've had or research I've done. No... basically I'm a cookie expert because I've eaten a lot of cookies in my time.
Like.... cookie monster has nothing on me. Not even lying.
Anyway... to be a true cookie expert I decided that I'd have to step outside my cookie comfort zone and try something new. Since I've never tried anything baked with lavender (I was afraid it would taste like perfume...), that's the direction I decided to take.
Our local U-pick farm (Old Airport Gardens in Lillooet) had some beautiful bundles of lavender so I knew I had to give it a try.
Shortbread cookies are always a favorite around our house so I knew I would be safe using that as a base. I added some lemon just in case the lavender was too perfume-y so there would be a balance of flavors.
If you are looking for a cookie to take you outside your safe place with baking then I definitely recommend giving these a try. They are different, light, and look so darned pretty.
Lavender Lemon Shortbread Cookies
2 cup butter, room temp
1 cup icing sugar
4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
zest of 1 large lemon
2 Tbsp lavender
juice of 1/2 a lemon (about 1/4 cup)
1 cup icing sugar
Preheat oven to 325. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until fluffy, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Beat in icing sugar, flour, and salt until crumbly. Beat in lemon zest.
Collect 2 Tbsp of lavender.
Add it to the dough.
Beat until dough starts to come together. Use your hands to press together. Dough should stick together but may be a bit crumbly. You can add a few spoonfuls of milk if it won't stick together.
Divide dough in half. Roll out half of the dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out with cookie cutters.
Place on prepared cookie sheet. They can be fairly close together as they don't spread.
Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Rotate pan in the oven. Bake for another 10 minutes, or until bottoms of cookies are a light golden brown and edges are just starting to brown slightly. Tops of cookies will look dry.
Let cool on pan for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. Continue with remainder of dough. (Note - it helps to have 2 cookie sheets so you can continue cutting out dough and not having to wait until the one sheet cools.)
Prepare lemon glaze - in a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and icing sugar until mixture resembles glue. Using a pastry or basting brush, brush the glaze over the tops of the warm cookies.
If desired, sprinkle a teeny bit more lavender on each cookie while the glaze is still wet. (FYI - it dries quite quickly. I brushed about 5 cookies with glaze then sprinkled them with more lavender, then 5 more cookies, more lavender, etc...)
This recipes makes quite a large batch - about 7 dozen - but can easily be halved!
Aren't they super de duper pretty?
I was always under the impression that lavender would taste like perfume.
Not so much.
Okay... maybe a teeeeeeeeny tiny bit. I don't think I'm going to run out and starting drinking lavender tea or anything BUT these cookies have a great layering of flavors. There is the buttery richness of the shortbread, the refreshing tang of the lemon, and then a subtle hint of the lavender to round things out.
Overall a fabulous way to try something new!