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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Lavender Shortbread Cookies |
I'm a dreamer.  I get that from my mom.

We can plan for hours on end about the businesses we want to open.  I mean, we do it so often and so intensely, we almost start believing it's actually going to see fruition.

For me, it's a small bakery, a food truck, an artisan cheese/bread/whatever shop, a pop-up restaurant... you get the drift.  I'll write a cookbook, run a vineyard (in Tuscany, of course...or maybe Northern California), or be a garlic farmer.
Lavender Shortbread Cookies |
For my mom it's a quaint little flower shop, a llama farm (seriously), a wedding/event planning company (destination magazine included), a family run restaurant/bar/bakery with a flower shop attached (so that each one of her kids has some part in it).  It's running lavender farm.

So plucking one of the dreams that mom talks about with the most conviction from the list, I decided that, on this Mother's Day, I would bake mom a batch of Lavender Shortbread Cookies.  I'm positive that the moment she bites into one, she'll be working out the packaging details so that they can take a prominent spot on the gift shop filled with handmade goods from her Lavender Farm.

Here's to all the dreamers...and all the mothers...out there!

Lavender Shortbread Cookies
Buttery, crumbly, delicate shortbread cookies infused with lavender make the perfect Mother's Day, Easter, or shower treat.
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Lavender Shortbread Cookies
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 5 minutes (+ up to 3 hours in refrigerator)
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Keywords: bake dessert vegetarian nut-free butter lavender Mothers Day cookie

Ingredients (24-28 cookies)
  • 8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried lavender
  • granulated sugar, for dusting (approx. 1/4 cup)
Line 2 or 3 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Beat the butter, vanilla, and salt together on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Turn the mixer down to low and beat in the confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy, another minute or two. Add the flour to the bowl, a third at a time, beating until it is just incorporated. Scatter the lavender over the top and mix until it is just combined.

Use a rubber spatula to scrape and mix from the bottom of the bowl up, just to be sure there are no dry bits hiding underneath and the lavender is evenly distributed.

Scoop out the dough by rounded tablespoons and place on prepared sheets (you can use a scoop or roll it into balls quickly between your palms). Leave an inch of space between each cookie to allow for spreading.

Dip a cookie stamp or the bottom of an ornate glass in the sugar and press down each ball of dough. I find that it helps to first press the stamp/glass into one cookie and then dip it in the sugar - the butter that transfers to the stamp/glass makes the sugar stick. After that first one, you should just be able to dip and press until all the dough is done. I imagine you could also spray the stamp/glass with a hit of non-stick spray to help that first dip of sugar stick. I don't have a cookie stamp, so I use a glass - stamps could behave differently.
Lavender Shortbread Cookies |
Refrigerate the trays until the cookies are solid, ~3 hours. This helps them to hold the designs pressed into them by the stamps/glasses. Mine still spread out a bit, making the design less obvious (and I even froze one sheet, just to see if it would make a difference - it didn't). But even if your design completely flattens out, they'll still taste the same.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Bake one sheet at a time (leave the others in the fridge until you're ready to bake them) for about 10 minutes, or until the edges have turned lightly golden. You may want to turn the tray halfway through...but I constantly debate about this practice. It probably does allow for more even cooking, but you let so much heat out by opening the oven, I just don't know if it matters all that much. You decide for your cookies.

Carefully (they're very fragile at this point), transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. They will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.

Lavender Shortbread Cookies |