(Handefull of Pleasant Delites)
Lavender is for lovers true, Which evermore be faine;
Desiring always for to have Some pleasure for their paine:
And when that they obtained have The love that they require,
Then have they all their perfect joie, And quenched is the fire.
— Clement Robinson, 1584
I think by now, you know that I adore lavender..
The floures of Lavender picked from the knaps, I meane the blew part and not the husk, mixed with Cinnamon, Nutmeg, and Cloves, made into powder, and given to drinke in the distilled water thereof, doth helpe the panting and passion of the heart, previaleth against giddinesse, turning or swimming of the brain, and members subject to the palsie.
–John Gerard, 1597
My daughter and I were on a quest for “Lavender (Herball)” to “previaleth against our swimming brains” and the tumult of lake life…
…we found our amethyst cure at the Okanagan Lavender Farm.
Silly me, I hadn’t realized it was late in the season.. no dreamy mounds of amethyst swept in view, yet still some varieties were in bloom.
and one could meander through the gardens to see quaint vintage cottages…
We finished with a wee bit of shopping.
Katie chose a Lavender spray for her pillowcase.
Of course, I went for a tin of culinary lavender…
Then we nibbled on a lavender scone and sipped “strawfulls” of lavender lemonade, while taking in the gorgeous views from the deck of their sweet little café…
“My dear, have some lavender, or you’d best have a thimble full of wine, your spirits are quite down, my sweeting.”
– – John O’Keeffe, circa 1798
I think that’s good advice, don’t you?
I’ve made two Lavender Shortbread Cookies to share with you today.
This first recipe made a cookie with a lovely strong lavender and lemon flavor, almost an “oaty” Scottish texture, it was very light and fluffy…
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp dried lavender flowers
- 2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice
- zest from one lemon
- coarse sugar
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- On medium speed, cream the butter until soft in a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add 1/4 cup sugar and blend until the sugar is incorporated.
- In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, cornstarch, and salt. Then add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Blend on a low speed, just until the ingredients are almost incorporated.
- Crush the lavender with a mortar and pestle. Add the lavender to the dough, sprinkle over the lemon zest and juice then mix until the dough starts to come together. Stop the mixer and, in the mixing bowl, try to work the dough together into a ball with your hands.
- Lightly dust your counter with flour, turn the dough onto it, and gently press the mixture together until the dough becomes pliant and workable.
- Place a silpat sheet on a clean work surface.With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a little less than 1/4-inch thick and about 8 x 10? rectangle. You can use your hands at this point to “straighten” the ends and sides so a perfect rectangle is formed. At this point I used my special butter rolling pin to mark lines in the cookie dough for cutting later, of course scoring with any sharp knife and a straight edge will work. Sprinkle with regular or coarse sugar.
- Then simply lift the dough onto a cookie sheet.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes more, until golden all over and very lightly browned. When you remove the pan from the oven, sprinkle additional sugar as required. Using a sharp knife, gently cut through the cookie dough to make squares (being careful not to cut the silpat).
- Allow cookies to cool then move then to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Adapted from Food Network
This second tasted more like a typical shortbread.. my mouth recognized it from my Christmas (shhh.. the C word) Baking… you’ll want to select this one if you’d like a touch less lavender..
- 1/2 cup powdered icing sugar
- 2 tsp dried lavender
- zest of one lemon
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- additional sugar, optional
- In a food processor, blend the powdered sugar, dried lavender, and lemon zest until lavender flowers and lemon are well minced.
- In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, add butter and cream on medium speed. Add the powdered sugar mixture and blend. Then mix in the flour and salt just to combine.
- Using your hands, press the dough inside the mixing bowl until a loose dough ball forms. Lay out two sheets of plastic wrap. Lift 1/2 of the mixture onto one sheet and shape into a log about 4-5 inches long. Wrap the plastic around, twist and ends and use the warmth from your hands to shape and smooth the log further. Then refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 375° F.
- Slice chilled dough into 1/4-inch slices. If desired, roll or sprinkle in sugar. I rolled the edges to get a different look.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Add additional sugar as desired
- Adapted from Mountain Mama Cooks