Friday, August 3, 2012

Lemon Lavender Cookies


I have a wonderful lavender plant and I wanted to bake something from it.  I know I have a lavender cookie and a lavender bread recipe.  I can't find either one.  When I told a friend what I was thinking of making, she made a face.  The thought of eating something made of lavender made her think of the times her mother washed her mouth out with soap.  Who uses lavender soap to punish kids?  Anyway, the point is I made them and FORCED her to eat one.  She said the lavender was mild and they didn't remind her of soap or punishments.  That sounds like damning with faint praise, but I like them and this will have to do until I organize my recipes.  Oh, and this uses dried lavender so I really do have to find the fresh recipe version.

Lemon Lavender Cookies

3/4 cup sugar
2 Tablespoon lemon zest
2 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
1 3/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, cold, cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


I usually use my KitchenAid stand mixer.  This recipe called for a food processor and it makes sense.  The dried lavender flowers are rather large and the processor makes them way smaller and less noticeable. I looked for my mortar and pestle.  I thought I could smash up the dried lavender flowers and THEN use the stand mixer, but I don't remember where I put it 5 years ago when we moved here, so I got out the huge heavy food processor and it worked great.

I have some dried lavender flowers from a tea shop that I sometimes use for baking.  I don't see why you can't dry your own.  Wash them and hang them upside down in bunches to dry.  Then take off the flowers, she said, having never done it herself.  Or go online and order yourself some.  You can make cookies and bread with it...and sachets!

Put the dried flowers, the sugar and the zest in the processor.  I didn't get 2 full Tablespoons from my pretty big lemon. 


So it will probably take two lemons to get the full amount of zest.  I got 2 Tablespoons juice from the one lemon.  I only had one and it was fine.  But you can never have too much lemon zest!  Run it until the sugar looks damp.  This took about 30 seconds.  When you take the top off, you will really smell the lemon and the lavender.

Add the flour, baking powder and salt.  Mix it by using the pulse option about 10 times.


When it is all mixed, cut the butter up.  Leave it in the fridge until you are ready to cut it, so it stays cold.  Cut the stick in half lengthwise and then each one of those in  half. 


Cut it into small chunks and scatter it over the flour/sugar mixture. Pulse it about 15 times for one second.

In a measuring cup, stir the yolk, lemon juice and the vanilla with a fork.  With the processor running drizzle the liquid into the dough.  Here is when I remind you to remove the cylinder that is blocking the hole.  I didn't do it, so I know it is possible you might forget, also.


Continue processing until the dough forms a ball.  Place a piece of cling wrap on the counter and dump the dough and any unincorporated bits on top.  Form the dough into a cylinder about 12 inches long.  Roll it tightly with the cling wrap like a burrito.  Bring the ends in first and square up the ends with the palm of your hand or a spatula.  Bring the cling up and fold it over the log. Make everything tight and continue to roll until it is a nice solid log.  Try to get it as round as you can.  The cookies will end up being whatever shape this log is.  Place it in the refrigerator for 2 hours.


Preheat the oven to 375.  I use silpats, but parchment paper is fine to line the cookie sheets.

Unroll the cookie dough.  Slice it into 1/4 inch rounds with a sharp knife, just like you used to do with the store bought dough from the store!

  Place them about 1 inch apart and bake for 10 to 12 minutes. 


My 10 minutes were a little light and my 12 were too dark.,  It should just start to brown on the edges.


Cool on the cookie sheets for at least 2 minutes and remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

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