Thursday, June 27, 2013

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

 Well, the sweet 16 party is over. More than a year of planning, many afternoons spent on DIY crafting, and some tears (but mostly a lot of smiles) later, the night of the party came and went. It was a night I'll never forget, and I'm incredibly lucky to have had so many people come to NY to help me celebrate my 16th birthday. We had a candle-lighting ceremony and a lot of cupcakes, but mostly it was chatting and, of course, dancing, that we spent time on. From my waltz with my dad to my classmates' rapping along to "thrift shop" and (attempting) to Harlem shake, it was a night unlike any other!
    But alas (alas? come back to this century, Sophia), it's over now, and it's time to enjoy my summer. These cookies were made a few weeks ago, before the party, but were such a hit that I kept their memory around long enough to tell you about them.
    These are a basic shortbread cookie, sweet and a bit crumbly, the kind that scatter tiny crumbs across the front of your shirt as their sugar layer shatters when you take a bite. They have a generous amount of dried lavender mixed in to the dough. You can't use any lavender - please don't try to cut open the little scented bag in your sock drawer - be sure to buy the edible kind, often labeled as baking lavender. I found it at the farmers' market near my house.
     I made these because I wanted to try something new, and I had picked up the lavender the week before. I was shocked at what a hit they were - several of my dad's co-workers proclaimed them the best thing I ever baked.
     I fell in love with these because they made me think of being six years old again. Their light flavor and purple spots throughout make them the perfect thing to serve at a little girls' tea party! How delicate they are and their sparkling topping just makes them even better.
Lavender Shortbread Cookies
(slightly adapted from Fit to Indulge)

1 cup butter
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour, plus more for surface
2 tablespoons dried edible lavender
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat (or grease with butter).
Cream together the butter and sugar.
Fold in the dry ingredients.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and bring together.
Roll the dough into two logs (I made one round and one with squared edges) and wrap in parchment paper. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Slice into rounds or squares about 1/4" thick and place on baking sheets, leaving a little space between them.
Sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25 minutes, or until very lightly browned on the edges.

No comments: