Monday, March 18, 2013
Lemon-Lavender Shortbread Cookies
I'm having a bit of trouble focusing on this blog post, because I just got done watching the season finale of Girls for the second time. I have so many things that I could write regarding this episode, especially pertaining to Shoshanna's speech (which I won't elaborate on because I don't want to spoil things for those of you who haven't watched yet), however, my main bit of confusion stems from one minor detail of the episode: why the heck did Marnie steal the menorah? What was the point of that? Am I missing something here? Thank you Lena Dunham for messing with my mind, yet again.
Let's talk cookies. That's why you're here. These are my attempt at summoning spring weather. I love winter, but I'm at the point of the year where I'm over it, and I'm ready to experience the two glorious weeks of beautiful weather that DC gets before becoming disgustingly hot and humid.
Typically, I avoid using hard to find ingredients here on A Bitchin' Kitchen, because I want you guys to actually make the stuff I post. Half the fun of blogging is getting a comment from someone telling you that they made and loved your recipe (not that this one is my invention, credit goes to Kristin for that!) However, these are really tasty, and worth the pain of finding culinary lavender (there's a link to buy it in the recipe below.) The lavender taste is subtle in these, but don't be tempted to add extra. You want these to taste like cookies, not soap! The lavender gives these a nice, light, floral flavor and scent, and you mostly taste lemon and butter.
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup powdered sugar
Zest of 2 lemons, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender buds, chopped finely*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the butter, powdered sugar, zest of 1 lemon, lavender, vanilla, and salt to a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the flour, and beat until a dough is formed. This takes about 5 minutes if you're using a hand mixer, so don't be alarmed that your dough starts out looking like sand.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Rub the zest into the sugar until fragrant.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface, and roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle 3/4 of the lemon sugar on top (you will use the remaining 1/4 of the lemon sugar in the same fashion when you re-roll the shortbread dough), and gently press it into the dough with the rolling pin. Using a small biscuit cutter, cut out shapes from the dough, and transfer to the prepared cookie sheet. Re-roll, and cut additional cookies.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, and cool completely on the cookie sheet.
*Be sure to use culinary lavender, and not lavender intended for any other purpose. I bought mine from Dean and Deluca, and the blog I got this recipe from indicated that it can also be purchased in health food stores.
Yield: 12-14 cookies
Source: Adapted from Pastry Affair