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Sunday, December 16, 2012

lavender shortbread cookies.

Lavender. I wonder which idea came first- lavender as bath soap or lavender as food? I'm thinking its more likely the soap and if so, who decided to use something so closely associated with showering foam in something edible? I always distanced myself from this ingredient because I thought that baking with lavender was ridiculously wrong. Like, lavender dessert? You want that purple flower to trigger brain signals of shampoo that will be sent to your tastebuds that leave you choking on its bitter and acrid taste even though it may not taste that way and destroy the whole dessert?! I have no idea what I just said but the point is, lavender seems to be way behind on the dessert trend because of its unfortunate over-association with soap. I think.

Yeah you can probably tell that I was a cynic. I approached the recipe with caution. In the end though, they weren't too bad. The amount of lavender used here is just enough to provide a subtle floral fragrance to the cookies. They act like the tea in the tea shortbread I made before. Not too overpowering. In fact, I even think that more can be used to bring out the lavender more.

For the recipe, I just changed up Dorie's sablĂ© recipe a bit. I omitted the egg this time to see what would happen and I gathered that the cookies were a little less crumbly. It doesn't make any sense to me, seeing how the lack of the egg yolk as a binder was supposed to make the cookies more fragile. But then again, it's been a while since I made the sablĂ© so it's quite hard to tell.

Lavender Shortbread Cookies
adapted from this recipe

The cookies won't spread much but leave at least 1 inch of space in between them.

1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar, ground with 1 tbsp dried lavender
1/4 icing sugar, sifted before measuring
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

Beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the lavender sugar, icing sugar and salt and continue to beat until smooth and velvety but not fluffy and airy. Stir in the flour and until just incorporated. Take 1 tsp of dough and form into a ball. Repeat until the dough is all used up. Refrigerate the formed cookie dough for at least 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350F. Bake for 10 minutes or until lightly browned at the sides.

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