Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

I had a currant scone for breakfast.  And a biscotti for lunch.  You might say I'm on a baked goods rolllll.  What the heck.  Let's make these shortbread cookies for dinner and call it a day. 

Lavender is good.  Lavender is great.  When you cook with it, the oil gets all up in your fingertips and makes you smell delicious for days.

And these cookies. Oh, these cookies.  I used lavender in baking for the first time when I made these nom-tacular scones. No time to rant about how great those were. Time to tell you how awesome these little shortbread cuties are.  They're buttery and almost cake-like.  They're delicately sweet, and the lavender and whole wheat flour give them a great depth.

The original recipe says that it makes about 50 cookies.  Awkward.  I certainly did not make 50 cookies.  I suppose you could...but who really needs 50 whole cookies?!  I strongly urge you to sample these guys when they are still in the dough phase.  Makes much more sense.

Fact:  I used the cap of a Pam can as a cookie cutter.  And a wine bottle as a rolling pin.  A+ for effort over here.

Lavender Shortbread Cookies
Adapted from Joy the Baker

makes about 50 cookies

1 tablespoon dried lavender blossoms
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon raw turbinado sugar (you can also use granulated sugar)
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 eggs, beaten (for egg wash)
extra sugar for sprinkling on top

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt.  Set aside.

In a small spice grinder, grind up 1 tablespoon lavender and 1 tablespoon sugar.  Grind it up!  You could also use a mortar and pestle to grind the sugar and lavender together.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment add butter, ground lavender mixture, and remaining 1/2 cup sugar.  Cream on medium speed until slightly more pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  There will still be raw sugar bits floating around.  That’s fine.  Stop the mixer, add the flour.  Mix on low speed until dough comes together.  The dough will be crumbly, then begin to form when it continues to mix.  Dump dough mixture out onto a clean surface and form into a ball with your hands.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Set aside.

Divide refrigerated dough into quarters.  On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough out to a 1/4-inch thickness.  Use a 1 1/2-inch round cookie cutter to cut cookies, or use a pizza cutter to slice cookies into squares.  Use a fork to prick cookies.  Brush very lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with sugar.  Refrigerate cookies while oven preheats.

Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  When oven is preheated, bake cookies for 8 to 11 minutes, until just browned around the edges.  Remove from oven.  Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cookies last, in an airtight container at room temprature, for up to 4 days. 

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