Lavender Cookies {Shortbread}

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Lavender cookies are delicately flavored shortbread with floral hints, for a subtly delicious tea biscuit. They pair well with a cup of tea.

Lavender Shortbread on a plate

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.)

Lavender
I wish I could follow the bees who love my lavender, back to their hives.

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)

chopped lavender

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.

Lavender bush
Lavender bush in Mendocino

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.

rectangle shortbrea
Rectangle shaped shortbread pricked with fork tines.

How to make Lavender shortbread

Lavender shortbread and cup
…or flower shaped.

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.

butter on scale

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 scale 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.

shortbread in bowl

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.

adding flour to shortbread dough

Chill the dough

This is especially if you’re baking on a warm day. Wrap it in plastic and chill from one hour to overnight. When ready to bake, let the dough sit, just until it’s soft enough to roll.

shortbread dough in plastic wrap

Flour the rolling pin or cookie cutter.

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.

dough on board

The most economical way to cut out shortbread is to pat it into a baking sheet, chill and then cut it into rectangular fingers.

shortbread in a baking sheet

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.

Savory Cheddar and Rosemary Shortbread

Roll or pat dough out and use a cookie cutter or knife, cut shortbread into rounds or rectangles.

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.

Shortbread mold

Bake the shortbread just until barely golden.

lavender shortbread on a plate

Sprinkle lightly with sanding sugar immediately after removing from the oven.

Rectangle shortbread

How to store shortbread

Shortbread cookies or biscuits last a long time. Well if you can keep from eating them anyway! Store in an air-tight container for up to a week. They do not need to be refrigerated.

These Lavender cookies are perfect with a cup of tea, but would also make a sweet baby or wedding shower table favor.

shortbread in thistle mold
Lavender shortbread using a shortbread mold.

You can find out how to make a proper cup of tea here. You’ll also find a recipe for Tea Scones.

shortbread on plate

If you like shortbread, you might like Rose Scented Shortbread, Brown Sugar Shortbread, or Savory Cheddar Shortbread.

Lavender shortbread in hand

Lavender Shortbread

Cynthia
Floral twist on a British classic.
4.80 from 10 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine British
Servings 48
Calories 89 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • 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)

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 89kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 15mgSodium: 21mgPotassium: 8mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 179IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 4mgIron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Lavender shortbread has delicate floral overtones.
Lavender shortbread has delicate floral overtones.

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42 Comments

  1. Wow you got me craving just looking at the photos! But the best thing is the ingredients are easily available especially now during this time when things are not normal. Perhaps will give i a try this weeke

    1. Thank you Patricia! Yes, it’s mostly a summertime treat for most of the world. Fortunately we can grow lavender year-round in Southern California.

  2. I love love love Lavender, we even have a lavender plant on our balcony, it is awesome. I never cooked with it tho, can’t wait to try your recipe.

  3. Cynthia, these look and sound beautiful! I love lavender in my desserts…I have to make these soon!

  4. 5 stars
    I am actually growing lavender in my back yard, but it’s still a baby at the moment. These cookies sound so delicious and delicate in the same time.

  5. I love this shortbread… and so does my friends that I make them for. I always have to make multiple batches. I find the lavender to be very calming. Great with cup of tea.

  6. 3 stars
    I made these last night. I have to say they were absolutely delicious, melt in the mouth and buttery. But.. the dough was incredibly sticky. I couldn’t roll it out and use a cookie cutter at all. It just became one sticky mess. Ended up patting them on in circles on the baking sheet. They spread quite abit in the oven too. 5 stars for taste but I’m only giving 4 stars as the kids were disappointed with the shape

    1. Hi Subha, Thank you for your comment, however I’m wondering if you measured the ingredients properly? If anything, the dough tends to be on the dry side. Did you chill the dough before and after rolling? As you can see, my cookies retained their shape quite nicely. They do tend to spread if your kitchen and/or dough is warm. I’m glad you loved the taste, and that they were “absolutely delicious”, but you gave me three stars.

  7. 5 stars
    I just finished baking a batch of these lovely lavender shortbread cookies. The dough is beautiful and easy to work with. The cookies are delicious. I had a very, very fine purple and glittery dusting sugar, so I sprinkled that on top immediately after they came out of the oven… perfect touch.

  8. 5 stars
    I pressed the dough into 2 rectangles of the desired thickness (about 1/2″ thick) and chilled overnight. The dough did not want to be rolled upon removal from the fridge, so I just cut, chilled, and baked it. The cookies turned out beautifully!

  9. 5 stars
    Your lavender cookies have been my go to stress release cookies. I am a 1st grade teacher and this year has been rough but these cookies are a little bit of heaven! Thank you for sharing.

4.80 from 10 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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