I’m a lavender lover from way back but, let’s be honest… lavender belongs in the garden and in potpourri sachets right? I mean, who wants to eat something that usually perfumes your knicker drawer?
Well, I think the answer depends on whether you’re into floral flavours or not. As for me, I actually love a a touch of rose, orange blossom or lavender in my food, so long as it’s just a gentle whisper.
With lavender, you need to use the right stuff, i.e. organically grown lavender. I looked online to find a source of culinary lavender and bought myself a pack – it smelled so divine, I had it sitting in my office for a week or so just so I could enjoy the scent!
And what nicer way to use it, than in these Lavender & Lemon Shortbreads from Fresh Choice. Actually, the original recipe fills the shortbread biscuits with a lemon curd and cream cheese filling – sounds divine, but I preferred something a little less OTT, so I opted for a simple lemon glaze drizzled over the top of each biscuit. I absolutely loved the result.
The shortbread biscuits are, as you expect, delicate and melt-in-your-mouth. The lavender is only very sparingly included in the shortbread dough and, likewise sprinkled lightly over top of the icing. You can taste its floral flavour, but it’s nicely balanced by the added lemon. And, I must say, it pairs very well with a cup of tea – particularly Earl Grey tea with its citrus notes.
If you like the sound of baking with lavender, but want to just dip your toes in the water, I’d definitely recommend this recipe as a great starting point. Enjoy!
- 100g (3.5 oz) softened butter
- 1/3 cup icing sugar
- 1/2 cup plain flour
- 1/3 cup cornflour (corn starch)
- Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender plus 1 tsp extra to decorate
- 1 cup icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- 2-3 teaspoons lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 160˚C (320˚F) and line an oven tray with baking paper.
- Put butter, sugar, flour, cornflour and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse until it starts to clump together. Add lavender and pulse very briefly to combine.
- Tip dough onto a clean bench dusted with remaining flour. Gather up the dough with your hands very gently, then pat into a round disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Roll dough out between two pieces of baking paper, to 5mm (1.9 inch) thick and cut out shapes using a cookie cutter (mine were about 3 inch circles).
- Place on prepared tray* and bake 10-12 minutes until lightly golden, leave to cool on a wire rack.
- Add the icing sugar to a small bowl and add the lemon juice in small amounts until the mixture is combined and thick (you don't want it to be too runny). Add teaspoon-ful lots of the icing on top of each biscuit (if it's the right consistency, it should gently level out, or you can tilt each biscuit to encourage the icing to spread).
- Decorate by sprinkling a little lavender over top of the icing before it sets. Refrigerate to set the icing. The biscuits can be stored in a container in a cool area or, if it's very warm, in the refrigerator.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Sigma 30mm 1.4 DC ‘Art’ lens / Natural lighting