Shortbread cookies are simple and delicious. With the addition of just a few things, they are all ready for a party.
Planning for a Zoom baby shower, I was looking for a treat for us all to share together since we would not be physically present. I decided a shortbread cookie would be tasty, and would travel well for those folks who live out of the area. To make them a little more festive, lavender and lemon, two fine companions, came to mind.
There is nothing wrong with a basic shortbread cookie recipe. It’s a simple formula using butter, sugar, flour, and salt. The are flavorful, with a lovely sandy texture, and full butter flavor. But, you can add any number of different flavors to change them up. I wanted to make them special, so with just a couple additions and some simple glaze and decoration, we have a special treat.
Lots of lemon
I used a lot of lemon zest, two lemon’s worth. And a full tablespoon of crushed lavender in the recipe. But sometimes in baking, both these flavors can become muted, so I boosted them with a simple lemon glaze and sprinkling of lemon zest and florets. This resulted in flavorful cookies that did not go overboard on either flavor. You can use gluten-free baking mix, and vegan butter as well. They also freeze beautifully, both the dough and the finished cookies.
Lemon and Lavender Shortbread Cookies
Yield 3 dozen or more cookies
- Zest of two lemons, microplane
- 1 tbsp. food-grade lavender, crushed
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 sticks of unsalted butter, very soft at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp. lemon extract
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 3 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour
Rub the lavender in the palms of your hand to release the oils and flavor. Add the zest and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of your standing mixer, or with a hand mixer, on medium, combine the butter and sugar until fluffy and light. You can also do this by hand in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, it just takes longer. Blend in the extracts, and add the flour, and zest/lavender mixture. Add a bit of food coloring if you want a light lavender color. Mix only until flour is combined. This is pretty fast. Pour out onto some plastic wrap and gently form into a disc. Alternately, you can roll into two logs to cut into 1/4-inch slices and bake. This is a handy way to make a batch, cook off one half and freeze the rest. Refrigerate for a half hour. You can make this the day before, or even freeze it all for another time. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper. Remove your dough from the refrigerator and divide in half if you haven’t already. Roll out each half on a lightly floured surface (put the second half back in the refrigerator while rolling out the first). Dip your cutter into flour and cut out your shapes. Bake for 18 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown. Let rest five minutes, then cool on a rack. Drizzle with limoncello glaze, and sprinkle with lavender flowers and lemon zest if desired.
- 1/4 cup confectioners 10X powder
- 1 tbsp. Limoncello, or so
Place sugar in a bowl and add limoncello. Mix well with a little whisk or fork and continue to thin with more limoncello if needed. Update: Virtual baby shower a great success, we all enjoyed the cookies, near and far, and had a wonderful time.
Update on shower:
A wonderful time was held by all via Zoom.
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