Bette Jane and I have been searching for dried culinary lavender and have been failing miserably. And by searching, I mean going to one fancy grocery store hoping to find it in the spice section. You see, you can’t use the flowers from the lavender plant in your pretty garden unless you know that it hasn’t been treated with pesticides. You don’t really want to eat those yucky chemicals.
So last weekend, I went to visit Bette Jane at her current place of residency (aka her apartment close to her school). We, along with our friend Kathryn, made a trip the farmer’s market. Bette Jane and I often went to the weekly farmer’s market in our hometown, but this one puts ours to shame. This place was packed with locally grown produce and locally owned businesses. My favorite part about farmer’s markets is finding all the unique things you wouldn’t normally find in the mall or grocery stores.
Guess what we found.
Lavender! We each ended up buying a 1 oz. bag for ourselves, which was actually not as expensive as I had expected. The lady who was running the stand told us that a little lavender goes a long way. If you add too much, it will taste bitter and hand-soapy… Let’s try to avoid that. We’ll leave the soap-eating to preschoolers.
Since it was my first time cooking with lavender, I didn’t want to waste my supply so I decided to make a small batch of cookies instead of something that was more complicated. And I’m so glad I made these because I declare them my new favorite non-chocolate cookies! They are slightly sweetened with honey and the subtle lavender and nutty almond complement each other perfectly.
So that’s my reason for making another cookie post.
Lavender Almond Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from undercovercook
Makes ~15-18 cookies
- 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temp
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp of honey
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour + some extra for dusting your work space
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2-1 tsp dried culinary lavender (Depends on your taste, also I found that the lavender taste was much stronger the older the cookies.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Beat the butter, honey, powdered sugar, almond and vanilla extracts with a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy. This takes about 5 minutes (or longer if you’re impatient like me and don’t wait for the butter to soften).
- Beat in the flour, salt, and baking powder until just combined. Add the lavender and mix. The mixture won’t look like cookie dough just yet, it will be crumbly.
- Now, generously flour a work station and dump your dough out. Knead the dough about 8 times. It will be slightly sticky. To avoid this, you can refrigerate the dough for about 15 minutes. But like I said, I’m impatient, so I used a lot of extra flour on my work space.
- Roll out your dough until it’s about 1/8 of an inch thick. The cookies will expand only a little bit after baking, so you can gauge how thick you want them.
- Cut the dough into squares, circles, flowers, cars, Scotties, or any other shape you want and carefully place them onto an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. This depends on the thickness and size of the cookies you end up making. The cookies should be a nice golden brown on just the edges.
- Open up your oven and enjoy the aroma of lavender and almond. Is this what heaven smells like? I’d bake these cookies again just for that smell. Enjoy with a cup of tea:)
*Note: These cookies aren’t very sweet and actually are a teensy tiny bit saltier than your average cookie. (Typical of shortbread cookies.) So if you have a sweet tooth, a honey glaze would be a great addition. You can also up the powdered sugar to 1/3 cup and decrease the salt to 1/4 tsp.