Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It Even Tastes Purple - Lavender & Meyer Lemon Shortbread

Who doesn't love the freshness of lavender?  That tiny unassuming blossom that has such a powerful balancing effect on the soul.  One whiff and all seems right with the world.  Add to that the floral zing of Meyer Lemon zest and you have a winner. 

Be wary though, for not all lavender is created equal.  I recommend using Provence (French) Lavender or Munstead, because a lot of the others have a decided camphorous smell (not delicious).  Another recommendation is to add the Lavender and the Zest right after creaming the butter and sugar.  This fosters absorption of volatile oils from both the Lavender and Zest into the butter.  If you mix them in at the end, as with the candy bits, you will be more apt to loose them during baking.

This is the perfect cookie after suffering through the excruciating torture of Christmas shopping.  (Ick)  Simply brew a cup (or pot) of Darjeeling, sit in your favorite chair with a good book and a "couple three" cookies and you'll be "right as rain" in no time.

Lavender Meyer Lemon Shortbread

8 oz Cultured Butter
4 oz Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Fleur de Sel or Kosher Salt
1 TB Provence Lavender Blossoms, crushed
Zest of 1 Meyer Lemon (about 1 TB)
12 oz AP Flour

Cream the Butter, Sugar & salt together until fluffy.

Add the Lavender and the Meyer Lemon Zest, beating an additional minute or two.

Slowly add the flour, with the mixer on low speed.

Gather the dough together

Work it into a log then wrap in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and remove the log from the refrigerator.
Slice off 1/4 inch thick rounds from the log.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes or until the edged just begin to turn golden.

Allow to cool for 5 minute on the baking sheet before moving to a wire rack.

When cool, brew yourself some Darjeeling and find your "Happy place".


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