For years I have been making Lemon, Lime & Basil Shortbread Cookies, which I find refreshing with a glass of iced tea on a sultry summer afternoon. I acquired some culinary lavender not long ago, and had been anxious to give it a spin. I incorporated some into the Green Sun Tea with Lavender, Lemon, Honey & Basil with success, but I wanted a sweet, baked good to add it to. Shortbread cookies seemed the perfect vehicle, and the resulting product far exceeded my expectations! The first bite of this cookie starts with a lemony sweetness; the lavender is a mere whisper in the background, sort of saying "who do you think I am?". Far from a bite of lavender potpourri, which I feared a bit, this is a well-balanced, lovely cookie, perfect for a tea, or with a dish of sorbet or ice cream. Culinary lavender is easily obtained online. Give this a try, you will be pleasantly surprised!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender buds
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
4 ounces (1 stick, 1/2 cup) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
1 Tablespoon freshly-squeezed lemon juice
Sugar, regular or sanding, for sprinkling (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375-degrees. Line a large sheet pan with parchment or a Silpat (silicon mat).
Into the bowl of a food processor, add the first 5 ingredients and pulse about 8 times to chop the lavender a bit and combine the ingredients well. Remove the lid and add the butter evenly over the top of the ingredients, then sprinkle the lemon juice over all. Replace the lid and pulse until the mixture forms large, moist clumps. Dump the mixture onto a very lightly floured board and roll into an approximately 10-inch log with lightly-floured hands. Cut the dough into 16 equal pieces (Cut in half, then in quarters, into eighths, then into 16 pieces. Much easier than trying to start at one end and cutting to the other end!) Roll each piece into a ball and place on the baking sheet.
Put some powdered sugar into a small plate. Using a flat-bottomed 1/2 cup metal measuring cup dipped into the sugar, flatten each ball evenly to about 2 1/2-inches across. Repeat until all are flattened. If you like, sprinkle sugar over the top of the cookies.
Place the cookies in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, just until the edges are brown. (Mine were done in 18 minutes.) Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely.