Three Girls Bakery in Pike Place market is famous for lavender shortbread cookies. I love their soups and cookies, but not so much their service. So if you happen to be in Pike place, just grab a cookie from Three Girls and head over to Starbucks for great coffee and service. This is a crumbly,melt-in-your mouth kind of cookie, thanks to the high fat content in butter. These rich but not too sweet shortbread cookies have just a hint of sweet lavender fragrance and flavor. Shortbread is traditionally a Christmas cookie, but I think they would make an awesome addition to your Easter gift basket too.
Here’s an interesting piece of info about lovely lavender, dried lavender has long been used to naturally relieve nausea. Kate Middleton is reportedly eating lavender shortbread cookies to keep her morning sickness at bay. Now we don’t need such excuses to bake these rich, flavorful, fragrant cookies, do we? I got my dried culinary lavender from cost plus world market, they are best when it comes to spices. These cookies need just about a teaspoon of lavender, the rest can sit in your pantry and make your kitchen smell so good. The cookies taste great with a cup of English tea.
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar, powdered
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried lavender, finely chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1. Using a hand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4minutes.
2. Add vanilla, salt and lavender and mix again for a minute.
3. Add the flour one cup at a time, mixing on low speed between additions until just combined, and scraping the sides of the mixing bowl when necessary. When all the flour has been added, use a plastic spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl again, and mix briefly.
4. Transfer the dough to a board or clean counter top dusted with flour. Gently knead the dough 5 or 6 times, until it comes together (it should feel sticky). Shape the dough into a long log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter (a square log will work fine too).
5. Wrap the log in plastic wrap or parchment paper and refrigerate until very firm, about 3 hours or overnight. (The dough can also be wrapped and frozen for up to 1 month.) Here’s a tip for getting nearly perfect round cookies, after the dough is wrapped, put them in a cardboard tube ( old paper towel insert) and gently squeeze, so the dough fills the cardboard tube completely. Then refrigerate or freeze them.
6. Preheat the oven to 300F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the dough log into 1/4-inch thick pieces and place the cookies about 3/4 inch apart. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and end to end halfway through baking, until the cookies are firm and just barely beginning to brown at edges.
7. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely. Store the shortbread in an airtight container for up to 1 week.