A Love for Lavender- Shortbread Cookie Recipe

By on October 2, 2012

By Jennifer Cote –

With several lavender bushes in full bloom, I was intrigued by a recipe calling for lavender. As with most recipes, I had to streamline. My recipes have to be as simple as possible to make, using ingredients I have on hand, or it’s not going to happen…

When I looked over a recently-featured recipe, I knew I had to make some changes. One of the ingredients was blood orange-infused oil, not an ingredient in my larder! After I read up on the Blood Orange, though, I’ve become inspired to track one down at the nursery. Anyone living in a moderate climate, with cool night temperatures (like in our Bay Area) may qualify. The blood orange develops those distinct maroon pigments only in the cooler night weather.

Apparently, the blood orange is the sweetest, most flavorful orange (with hints of raspberry), loaded with the most vitamin C as well. And that’s why I’ll be eating those shortbread cookies- all that vitamin C, right?!

I must admit, if I plant a tree of my own, or even find the blood oranges stocked at the market, I’ll snag some for use in cooking. I would even make my own infused oil, as it’s quite simple to make. One just warms some olive oil a bit (lower than a simmer), adding the citrus zest and letting it steep a few hours before straining. It can then be stored in a cool place, offering a refreshing hint of flavor to various dishes.

The lavender shortbread recipe was quite an ongoing experiment. While I do recommend infusing your own citrus oils, use caution in making lavender oil, as it can be toxic larger quantities. We brewed up some as part of an experiment at The New Deli, but weren’t that impressed; the orange oil won out over the infused lavender.

Some shortbread recipes call for extra ingredients: Corn starch in addition to flour, confectioner’s sugar as well as regular sugar, and some call for baking soda or baking powder too. In streamlining my recipe, I skipped the corn starch, skipped the confectioner’s sugar, and the baking soda and powder. I was whipping the butter, olive oil, and sugar until light, so they were a light-enough cookie without those additions.

If you’re looking to serve a special cookie for a special occasion, these cookies would fit the bill. The shortbread inspires visions of tea parties and fairy tales, or at the least, a respite with a good cup of coffee!

Lavender Orange Shortbread

Here’s a streamlined shortbread recipe, unique and full of flavor. Change it up by using toasted fennel seeds in place of the lavender flowers, or dip half the cookie into melted chocolate. Makes almost 2 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter (1/2 c.), room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, as desired (especially if using unsalted butter)
  • 1/4 c. virgin olive oil (“blood orange-infused”, if you have it)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. orange extract
  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 TBS. dried lavender flowers*
  • zest of one orange (blood orange if available)

Beat the first five ingredients until light and creamy: > 1 stick butter > 1/4 tsp. salt > 1/4 c. virgin olive oil > 1/4 c. sugar > 1/2 tsp. orange extract

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, stirring together until just blended: > 2 c. flour > 1 TBS. dried lavender flowers* > zest of one orange

Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 6” log or square-shaped cylinder; wrap in plastic and refrigerate for an hour or more. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap and cut each log into 1/4″ to 1/3” thick slices. Place on baking sheet, bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes or so. Let cool, serve with coffee or tea!

* Make your own “dried lavender flowers” by removing blossoms from some fresh lavender. Set on paper towel and microwave on lowest power setting, for a few minutes, until dry. Or, wrap string around a lavender bouquet, hanging upside-down for a few days to air-dry, removing dried blossoms afterward.

 

Cookbook author Jennifer Cote shares recipes and her faith, starting with her first cookbook, “From the Land of Milk and Honey“. Volume II, an e-cookbook, is coming soon, in between running a café with husband Tom, grandparenting, and organic gardening. More info (including video tutorials) can be found at jennifercote.org; email Jennifer at [email protected].

About Jennifer Cote

Jennifer's love of cooking with natural ingredients is inspired by the organic garden she's cultivated for over 25 years. A cutting garden provides flowers for The New Deli Cafe, an herb garden lends herbs for culinary creations, and twenty-some fruit and nut trees are scattered throughout her fairly urban back yard. New Deli compost keeps the garden flourishing, as Jen and her family carry on the family business, established in 1985. A blessed grandmother, mother, and wife, Jen gets much joy from sharing recipes (and perhaps an occasional basket of figs or platter of home-baked goodies).

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A Love for Lavender- Shortbread Cookie Recipe