{ Lemon & Lavender Shortbread }

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Since my last blog I have been recovering from the flu and I’m getting better every day. To keep myself off the couch and moving I decided to make my famous Lavender and Lemon Shortbread Cookies. Not that they are really that famous – but my family and friends enjoy them a lot and I can’t complain; I bake, they eat – It’s beautiful. My lovely friend, Katie, moved to Paris a few weeks ago and left me some culinary lavender. Little did she know I would go crazy for it, just as she had. Although it is important not to be too generous with the amount of lavender you add into any dessert/cookie/cake dish, because a little goes a long way, any little bit of lavender adds a beautiful aroma and creates a tasty, tasty treat. I also am still in possession of an abundance of  fresh lemons (and just inherited five more limes from a friends backyard!) and as such this easy recipe was the perfect way to get myself off the coach and into the kitchen. I have also been drinking copious amounts of fresh lemon and ginger tea – nothing is going to waste!!!

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Upon recently purchasing this set of vintage style cookie cutters, I’ve been going completely mental for cookies! It’s an addiction, and I hope it never ends. My husband benefits the most from this because I know cookie’s are in his top 10 list of great loves – bakery goods being number 1. We certainly are a special family.

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Anyways, below is the recipe with a few handy hints on getting the best kind of shortbread cookies.

Be warm, Be cozy, and when life gives you lemons – make cookies!

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{ Lemon & Lavender Shortbread Cookies }

1 Cup (227 g) good quality unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 Cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp dried culinary lavender
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 Cups  all-purpose flour
1/2 Cup cornstarch (corn flour)
1/4  tsp salt

{ Directions}

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on low to medium speed until it is smooth and creamy, about 2-3 minutes. In a separate bowl add together the dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. Add the caster sugar and beat for another 3 minutes until white and smooth. During this stage, also add in the vanilla extract. In the same bowl gently stir in the dried lavender and lemon zest (do not beat in).
  3. Stir in the dry ingredients and mix gently until they are incorporated. The best technique to use is to fold and push the batter down onto itself.  At this stage the dough will be incredibly light and fluffy. Keep in mind that it will not seem like a thick and heavy dough at this stage, but more like a much thicker batch of cake-like batter. It’s hard to explain but you’ll understand once you incorporate the dry ingredients.
  4. Shape the dough into a ball on a sheet of plastic wrap and wrap it up. Once in the wrap, flatten the dough into a disk and chill for one hour (at least). I usually chill mine for 1-2 hours depending on how hungry I am. But the anywhere in the 1 1/2 hour mark is good.
  5. When you’re ready to roll and cut the cookie dough, preheat oven to 350°F and place the oven rack in the middle position. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or two baking mats.
  6. Roll the dough to whatever thick on a lightly floured surface or between two sheets of parchment paper. Cut desired shapes. This recipe usually yields around 2o cookies, so make sure you have at least two baking trays lined with parchment paper ready.
  7. The recipe I used indicates 8-10 minutes as a good amount of time to bake these lovely treats, but I prefer my shortbread cookies less crunchy and more “melt in your mouth”. To achieve this delicious effect I usually leave them in the oven for around 5-6 minutes, but no longer than 6. The cookies will come out quite white and soft and you’ll wonder whether I’ve tricked you into eating raw cookie dough, but I haven’t! If you prefer my way then let cookies cool on the sheets or on a wire rack until they become firmer. Cooling cakes and cookies  before you disturb them ensures that they are less likely to break or fall apart

Cookies can be kept in an airtight container for about 1 week.

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