Thursday, March 24, 2011

In Between: Lavender Shortbread

In case you don't live in my part of the world, let me give you a visual:

Yes, that's snow.  Those are crocuses.  The crocuses were there first, and the snow came later.  Mother nature can't decide, it seems.  (Sort of like me these days, I guess, in between places professionally, personally, blogally ...) My son had a delayed opening yesterday.  Really? I thought, when the phone rang at 5am.  Then I thought something much less printable in polite conversation.

Winter weather means that N. and I are cooped up.  Short of going to the mall (which is pretty unappealing to me--this will probably be unfortunate for my daughter when she reaches her teenage years), there aren't many places one can go walk with the baby when there's pea-sized hail coming down.  And the bad thing about being cooped up is that I eat.  My oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, for example.  I think I ate about ten of them last night.  (No, I have not a modicum of self-control, thanks for asking.  I was thinking I might just finish the whole tub of them.  And then I will complain that I am gaining weight, refusing to acknowledge the irony here.)

The good thing about being cooped up (related to the bad thing, come to think of it) is that I bake.

My mother in law was visiting this past weekend, and I wanted to make something for dessert that would impress her (though she is pretty easily impressed; rice krispie treats would likely also have bowled her over).  I didn't want to spend too much time fussing over it, because I knew we'd also be making breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.  And I wanted something that would taste like spring.  And I so enjoyed using my culinary lavender when I made lavender cupcakes that I had to do it again.  (This picture was taken before the snow, in case you were wondering.  We actually had green grass for a bit there.)

These lavender shortbread are something new and beautiful, a little bit different.  I think I like these even better than the cupcakes; they're more subtle, and they really do taste like spring.  Here's to getting out of limbo.

Lavender Shortbread

1/2 c. unsalted butter
1/3 c. superfine sugar
1 c. flour
1 t. dried edible lavender or 2 T. of fresh - roughly chopped
1/2 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 F and grease a large baking sheet or prepare your shortbread pan.

Cream together the butter and sugar till pale and fluffy. Stir in the flour and lavender and bring together in a soft ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface. Using a pretty cutter, stamp out biscuits re-rolling the scraps when necessary. (Or: use a shortbread pan like I did, and press the dough into the pan.). Place on the baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for around 30 minutes or until lightly golden.

Cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.  Once cooled, you might want to dip them in lavender chocolate. Enjoy with a cup of earl grey tea.
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  1. The shortbread looks lovely... so lovely I'm tempted to go raid my cupboards and bake! But too many jobs to do this afternoon.
    Happy ICLW

  2. And now I'm on the hunt for some edible lavender. These sound like a perfect Easter picnic accompaniment!

  3. I'm with Trinity. I now feel completely obligated to track down edible lavender, if for no other reason than so I can sound fancy when I talk about my baking like you do. :)

    I am totally with you as far as the eating when I'm just hanging around the house. If I can avoid even having one bite I'm golden, but after that first one it goes to hell. I'm definitely an all or nothing kind of girl.

  4. this will be baked this weekend!! i can not wait!! thanks

  5. man, those look good!
    i'm making those cookies today, by the way, even though i'm probably going to have to hide them from the men in the house. :)

  6. Those shortbreads do look lovely! I think I would eat rhe entire batch.

    I keep telling my husband that my swollen belly is still my uterus contracting slowly. I did a little exercise this morning and can tell that it is really lots of cookies and that box of pop tarts I allowed myself to eats in the last few weeks of pregnancy. I am not telling though.

  7. Looks yummy! Not a very helpful MIL. We're trying to discourage my parents from wanting to visit if Sparky is born because they will do NOTHING; my mum especially would sleep in late, stay awake late, and expect me to cook all her meals for her and do her laundry. Um, I'd have a helpless babe already and not need another!!

  8. These sound amazing. Seriously. I love cooking with lavender; I saw a recipe for lavender and violet jam a while back, and that pretty much made me drool. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Such beautiful photos :))... and love the recipe - will have to give that one a go :) Thank you for your gorgeous comment on my blog... lovely to share this journey with you xoxo

  10. mmm....over from ICLW...those look soo good...both the flowers and the treats!

  11. Those crocuses are so beautiful! I *thought* that spring was here...until I woke up yesterday morning to a world blanketed in snow. Sigh.

  12. Oh Justine, I know you were eating all those cookies to increase your supply, that's all. Just something a mother has to do sometimes. ;)

  13. Visiting for ICLW...the lavender shortbread is beautiful! I've never had edible lavender, but now I also am going to have to go shopping and give these a try. :)

  14. Just cruising through your blog and wanted to wish you a Congratulations on your beautiful little girl!! Funny my labour also started with my first after Indian food!! Love the recipes hope to stop by lots!!

  15. I finally drove for the first time since Christmas, it was weird! That shortbread looks amazing.

  16. I'm beyond ready for spring already. The crocuses and snowdrops are out in Central Park, and even the daffodils are joining in...and then, wouldn't you know it, some snow. Ach. This has to end some time, right?

    (And I actually think you're setting a very good example for N by NOT taking her to the mall:)

  17. That shortbread looks delicious. I live in Upstate NY so know all about the snow. Our flowers didn't even get a chance to bud before the snow came. Makes us appreciate spring more, right?

    Happy ICLW!


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