Lavender cookies are delicately flavored shortbread with floral hints, for a subtly delicious tea biscuit.
I am forever entranced by the smells in my garden. Perhaps no more so than by the lavender bushes that are in my yard. We are fortunate to be able to grow lavender year-round in Southern California.
Lavender is a calming scent
Lavender is known for it’s soothing and relaxing properties and is a popular essential oil used for restoring calm. I often run my fingers up and down the lavender buds and smell them, or cut some stalks to add to arrangements, or just to dry. Lavender is a perfect addition to these shortbread cookies. (This post was originally published on August 15th, 2011 and has been updated to contain nutritional information. As an Amazon Affiliate, I may earn commission on qualifying purchases.)
If you do grow your own lavender and herbs, you can be assured that they will not be sprayed with chemicals, and therefore, “organic”. (At least in your garden)
The scent of food, whether good or bad, can heighten or detract from our eating pleasure. Maybe that’s another reason why I prefer eating at home and why cooking is so pleasurable. Perhaps it’s because all of the senses come together, the smells wafting through the house, the taste, and even the visual.
Lavender is an herb
While not as common as rosemary or licorice-y scented basil , it’s delicious is sweet desserts, but is also used in Herbes de Provence which is used in this French Roasted Chicken. You can read more about cooking with Lavender here.
As with all herbs, it’s important to know where they come from. If you are not able to grow and dry fresh lavender in your garden, you can purchase organic lavender buds here, leftover lavender can be used in a tea or potpourri. You can purchase a small amount at Cost Plus World Market for just a few dollars.
Cornstarch in shortbread cookies
This recipe for Lavender cookies, uses a combination of flour, sugar and cornstarch. Cornstarch, or powdered sugar, which contains cornstarch, gives the lavender cookie its crumbly texture. You definitely don’t want a sharp snap, or a soft piece of shortbread.
How to make Lavender shortbread
This Lavender cookie recipe is a fragrant twist on classic Scottish Shortbread. The recipe comes from Copia, The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts, in Napa, California, which closed in 2008.
First of all classic shortbread has just three ingredients, well four if you consider a pinch of salt an “ingredient”. My original recipe for shortbread comes from a Glaswegian neighbor from the 1960s and uses powdered sugar in place of the cornstarch and sugar.
Weigh the ingredients. You’ve heard this many times, and most recipes geared towards American bakers will rarely use weights.
This recipe was no exception. It was in cups only. I have included both cups and weights for more accuracy. Bear this in mind, that you will have the most success using a scale and there are so many affordable scales available, every kitchen should have one. This one is small and under $12.
Bring the butter to room temperature. This will ensure that the butter and sugar are properly creamed and that there are no lumps.
Handle the ingredients as little as possible. With any “short dough” which includes pie dough, you want to mix the ingredients just until combined. Any more will result in a tough biscuit or cookie.
Then chill the dough, especially if you’re baking on a warm day. Wrap it in plastic and chill from one hour to overnight. Let the dough sit, just until it’s soft enough to roll.
Lightly flour the board and rolling pin. If using a cutter or mold, make sure you flour the inside and edges each time for a clean cut.
The most economical way to cut out shortbread is to pat it into a baking sheet, chill and then cut it into rectangular fingers.
For this one, I wanted shortbread that looked like little flowers, so I used a cookie cutter. Chill the cut out dough for 10-15 minutes before baking to help it retain its shape.
You can also use a shortbread mold or cookie stamp. Make sure you flour the mold well to prevent the dough sticking in the crevices.
Sprinkle lightly with sanding sugar immediately after removing from the oven.
Store in an air-tight container for up to a week.
These Lavender cookies are perfect with a cup of tea, but would also make a sweet baby or wedding shower table favor.
Some of the items used in this post are available at my Amazon Affiliate Store.
- Heat of oven to 325* F.
- In the bowl of a mixer, beat butter, sugar, lavender and salt until light and fluffy. Add the flour and cornstarch and mix on low speed until just incorporated. Don't over-mix.
- Divide the dough in half. Flatten into squares and wrap in plastic. Chill dough until firm.
- On a floured board, roll or pat out dough to a thickness between 1/4 and 1/2 inch. Cut the dough into rectangles, pricking each rectangle with the tines of a fork several times. Or use a floured mold or cookie cutter. Chill again cut dough about 15 minutes so shortbread will hold its shape when baked.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until pale golden (do not brown). Cool slightly, then transfer to a rack.
- Makes about 4 dozen. (Recipe can be halved)