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LEMON AND LAVENDER SHORTBREAD COOKIES

Lemon-lavender-shortbread-cookies-recipe

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These lemon and lavender shortbread cookies are tender and delicious. They are also easy to make and feature the fragrance and flavor of a favorite summer plant: lavender, which is coming into full bloom just about now in the northern hemisphere.

This recipe was requested by my dear friend Cindy, so I am dedicating it to her.

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Lemon-lavender-shortbread-cookies-recipe

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LEMON & LAVENDER SHORTBREAD COOKIES

  • 150 gr. butter, at room temperature (about 62-65°F)
  • 60 gr. granulated sugar
  • 25 gr. powder sugar, sieved
  • 210 gr. all purpose flour
  • 30 gr. cornstarch
  • 1/2 teasp. sea salt (or 1 teasp. kosher salt)
  • finely grated peel of 1 large lemon (or 2 if small)
  • 1 to max 2 teaspoons (culinary grade) dried lavender buds – if using fresh, you will need more, as they are less intense (see notes)

For the glaze:

  • 200 gr. powder sugar
  • a little lemon juice, filtered

For decoration, if desired:

  • a few more lavender buds
  • grated lemon peel

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Lemon-lavender-shortbread-cookies-recipe

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  1. Blend the flour and cornstarch together in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Place the sugars and the salt in a large bowl, add the lemon peel and the lavender buds and massage them together with your fingers. This will release the oils (especially from the lemon) better.
  3. Now add the butter in small pieces and cream together. You can do this with an electric mixer (KitchenAid type) on low, or do like I do and put on a latex glove and use your hand. Either way, you need to cream these until there are no visible white lumps of butter, and all is well blended. Always scrape down all the residues well into the bowl.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter in 2-3 additions, blending only until the flower streaks are gone. For this stage I use a wooden spoon. Do not overmix.
  5. Finish bringing the dough together with your hands, pat down to a thick round and place between 2 sheets of parchment.
  6. Gently and slowly roll out to 1/4″ thickness (this rolling pin is perfect for that as it’s already set for 1/4″). Then place the dough with the parchment on a baking sheet, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for minimum 2 hours.
  7. Cut out the cookies with 2 or 2 & 1/2-inch max with a round or fluted cookie cutter. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and put back in the refrigerator while pre-heating the oven to 350F°/176°C.
  8. Bake for about 10-11 minutes (always best to set a timer). Do not let the cookies color or they will become hard, and you want them tender. Remove them from the oven, let them sit for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then carefully place them on a rack to cool.

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Lemon-lavender-shortbread-cookies-recipe

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Glaze and Decoration

  1. Place the powder sugar for the glaze in a bowl, and add the lemon juice one teaspoon at a time and blend well with a whisk until smooth. The glaze needs to flow like honey, but not be too runny. If it is too runny and liquid you will have to add more powder sugar until of appropriate thickness. That is why you are to go slow with adding the lemon juice.
  2. Decorate the cookies with a spoon or by placing the glaze in a pastry bag with a small hole. Then sprinkle with a few lavender buds and a little freshly grated lemon peel while the glaze is still wet, so they stick.

Let the glaze dry well for 2-3 hours – or longer, depending on the humidity in your area. Then store them at room temperature for up to a week in a covered container. If you need to layer them, you can use pieces of wax paper in between layers just to be sure.

Notes:

  • In the summer, when it’s warmer, the dough might warm up fast while you are cutting out the cookies, and as you pick them up to move them to the baking sheet they might warp. When you see that might happen, just put the tray with the rolled out dough in the freezer for 10-15 minutes. This is valid for all cut out cookies during the warm months. It is a game of patience and in-and-out to the fridge/freezer.
  • Each oven is different, and when not well calibrated, they can be hotter or cooler. Make sure to know your oven. Placing a calibrated thermometer inside the oven will help.
    And if you choose to make your cookies bigger than 2 inches round, you may have to bake them a little longer. So just watch the cookies like a hawk as they bake.
  • Lavender: a little goes a long way, as lavender is rather intense. I made my first batch of these cookies with dried lavender buds I had had for a while. They still had fragrance, but not as intense, so I used 2 teaspoons in the recipe + the ones sprinkled on top.
    Then I thought I’d order a fresh bag of dried lavender buds and… wow! 1 teaspoon was more than enough.
    Fresh lavender is not as intense as dried, so if you are using that, you will definitely need the full 2 teaspoons, plus the little bit of decoration on top, of course.

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Meyer-lemon-and-thyme-shortbread-cookies-recipe

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Above and below are images of the same kind of cookie but made with Meyer Lemon instead of regular lemon, and then sprinkled with fresh thyme leaves. This is also another lovely combination.

In this case, you don’t need to add the thyme leaves into the dough, just the lemon, because sprinkling fresh thyme leaves on top of the glaze is quite enough.

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Meyer-lemon-and-thyme-shortbread-cookies-recipe

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And below is a photo of Classic Shortbread with some chocolate and pistachios. Classic Shortbread is not my favorite, as is not quite as tender, but I know many of you love it. I made this as part of a class on cookies I took a couple of months ago. The process is similar, yet different, as the dough is not rolled out but pressed into a square (parchment lined) baking pan. If you would like the recipe for it let me know in the comments.

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Classic-shortbread-with-chocolate-and-pistachios-recipe

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I hope you will enjoy this recipe as the lemon-lavender combination is a favorite of mine. And if you are interested in more cookie recipes, you can find them by clicking on the image below.

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