Lavender Shortbread a Sweet Provencal Treat
The following recipe for lavender shortbread is my Provencal take on the Scottish classic. However, let’s start with an introduction to baking with fresh lavender. I love nothing more than throwing a handful of fresh lavender or any other herb into my baking. It takes me to simpler times with fewer processed foods.
Personally, I love lavender in particular because of its wonderfully aromatic smell, taste and colour. It can be infused in sugar with a food processor, which releases the natural oils and sends out a heavenly smell akin to standing in the middle of a lavender field. Infuse lavender into heavy cream for custards. Use the custard base in recipes such as crème brulée, ice cream or even imagine a wonderful lavender crème anglaise over poached salmon. You can also infuse things like cream cheese, butter, goat cheese for a unique spread. The possibilities are based solely on taking your favourite recipe and adding a new dimension.
The important thing about using fresh lavender is to make sure that it is organic and has not been sprayed with any pesticides or grown with any fertilizer that is not consumer-friendly. Should you not have access to fresh lavender, you can use dried but make sure it is culinary. And also, use only about ¼ the suggested amount as dried herbs are more potent than fresh. You don’t want your wonderful baked goods to taste like perfume!
- 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
- ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 ½ cups Unsalted Butter cold, cut into cubes
- handful Fresh Lavender*
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- In a food processor, process the sugar and a handful of Lavender Flowers. Process until fully incorporated and the Lavender you see is just tiny “flecks.” The sugar will turn a beautiful light lavender hue.**
- In a stand mixer or by hand, cream the butter and Lavender-infused sugar until well blended, scraping down the sides as needed.
- Add in flour and beat until well blended.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Place half of the shortbread dough on parchment paper and roll into a “log” approximately 2” wide. Refrigerate wrapped in parchment paper or plastic wrap for a few hours until firm enough to slice.
- Remove from refrigerator and slice into ½” thick cookies and place on a lined baking sheet.
- Bake approximately 15 minutes or until slightly golden brown on the bottom and the surface “springs back” to the touch; the cookies will continue to bake after removed from the oven so you do not want them to be completely firm.