My good friend gave me a plate of homemade lavender shortbread for my birthday, a thoughtful and surprisingly elegant gift, and something I had never had before.
Shortbread is actually a biscuit, which I love for its rustic simplicity (butter, sugar, and flour), and the fact that it isn’t sweet, sweet, only semi-sweet (perfect with coffee or tea). The addition of the lavender was entirely new to me; it gives the shortbread a slightly perfumed taste and (I think) a touch of refinement.
So, I’m sharing it with you in case you feel like baking a batch on a rainy summer day (your house will smell wonderful) for yourself or as a gift (something simple with an elegant twist).
(Be sure to use culinary lavender such as the kind found here)
- ¾ pound unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar, extra for sprinkling
- I Tablespoon culinary lavender
- I teaspoon vanilla extract
- 31/2 cups flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Finely chop the lavender. Beat the butter and lavender together in a bowl, this helps release the flavor of the lavender. Add the sugar until combined. Add the vanilla.
Sift the salt and flour, then add to the butter and sugar mixture.
Turn dough out on to a floured surface and roll into a log roughly 6 centimeters in diameter. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or as long as over night.
Preheat oven to 350. Using a sharp knife, slice the log of dough into ¼ inch thick slices. Place slices on an ungreased sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
Allow shortbread to cool to room temperature and then sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar.