I've been wanting to try this shortbread recipe for some time. It just seemed so interesting and, I don't know, a little exotic perhaps? Okay, maybe exotic's not quite the word I'm looking for . . . unique --- well, I'm sure you know what I mean. It's just that lavender is not one of those ingredients that usually makes an appearance in the food at our house. I think my family is still trying to decide whether they actually like the taste of it or not, as it does take a little getting used to.
But, there just happened to be a pack of lavender in our house this time when I went home. Why? Well, you'll probably laugh, but here's the story. Have you ever seen the movie, "It's Complicated?" It just so happens that this is one of my mom's all-time favorite movies. In the movie is a scene where the characters played by Meryl Streep and Steve Martin are having dinner at her house. For dessert, she made lavender ice cream. Once my mom heard the words "lavender ice cream" and saw how blissful Alec Baldwin's character was eating it, she couldn't get the idea out of her head. Naturally, she then wanted me to make it. I still haven't gotten around to that just yet though I did buy the lavender, just in case. If any of you do know of a good recipe for lavender ice cream, please by all means share it with me. My mom will thank you.
Okay, back to the shortbread. It is definitely not your average shortbread. The lavender flavor was nice and subtle, giving the cookie a bit of something flowery and tasteful without overpowering it. The salt is also absolutely necessary as it helps to bring everything together and make it all pop. Overall, I was really pleased with how they turned out and would recommend them if you want something extraordinary. There. That's the word I needed.
Salted Honey Lavender Shortbread (Evil Shenanigans)
7 1/4 ounces (2 1/2 cups) all purpose flour
5/8 ounce (2 tablespoons) corn starch
2 1/4 ounces (1/3 cup) sugar
6 1/2 ounces (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons good quality honey (lavender preferred)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon lavender
1/2 teaspoon flake sea salt, or to taste
Heat the oven to 350F and spray an 8x8" pan with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper leaving a three inch overhang on either side, and spray the parchment.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, sugar, cornstarch, honey, kosher salt, vanilla, lavender, and butter. Blend on low speed until well mixed and smooth.
Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan. Dock the top well with a fork, making sure not to press the fork completely through the dough.
Bake for 35-40 min., or until the center of the cookies feels firm when lightly pressed and they are golden brown all over. Allow the cookies to cool 5 min., then evenly sprinkle the tops with sea salt. Allow to cool for an additional 30 min. in the pan.
using the parchment overhang, lift the shortbread from the pan. With a sharp knife, cut into 16 squares. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack before serving.
- I made half a batch of these cookies and baked them in a pie tin. It yielded 8 wedges.
- The flavor of the cookies became even better the next day, so I would recommend that you wait before eating them, if you can.
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