One holiday tradition I always look forward to is baking. Yesterday it was my recipe for the absolutely delectable, intriguing – and beguiling! – glazed lavender shortbread, first notably served at a winter solstice party (2007, the year the tradition began) to raves and immediate requests for the recipe. The shortbread is buttery and offers the mellow, unexpected flavor of lavender flower buds. A very thin glaze made from powdered sugar and almond milk caps the cookie with a layer of smooth melting sweetness. The flavors enhance over time and it is true, you will discover, this is a magical cookie. Take a peek:
This recipe must come directly from the gods, it is so heavenly.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
1 c. pure butter
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 c. Pamela’s Artisan Gluten Free Flour, unbleached wheat, or other light flour
1 1/2 tbsp. lavender buds
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 – 2 tbsp. almond milk, or other milk
Cream powdered sugar and butter until fluffy and light. Blend in flour. Evenly blend in lavender buds. Allow dough to rest a good 20 minutes to half hour, or even prepare ahead to this point (then chill, well wrapped) to bake on another day.
In small bowl, thoroughly stir together powdered sugar and almond milk to form a thin glaze.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Adjust rack to the center of the oven. Choose how you will prepare the dough: lightly flouring counter, rolling out 1/4 inch thick and cutting with a heart shaped cutter is very nice, re-rolling the scraps. Rolling dough into one inch balls in the palms of your hands, placing on cookie sheet and flattening with the bottom of a glass is also satisfying. In either case, bake cookies approximately 12 minutes. Check them at 10 minutes to see if they are showing a light golden brown on the bottoms, and just the palest hint of tan around the edges. Take care they do not bake too long.
Cool on a rack then dip tops of cookies into glaze, shaking off excess, allowing glaze to harden.
A couple of days ago I made a variation on the above shortbread recipe, and they are also quite, quite tasty:
With toasted hazelnuts and clementine zest in the cookie, and the glaze a blend of clementine juice and powdered sugar, how can you go wrong?
Simply omit the lavender buds (naturally), and work in 1 c. of toasted, finely chopped (I used a food processor) hazelnuts, and the minced zest of one clementine(or tangerine) to the dough. Then for the glaze, substitute juice of the clementine for the almond milk. Exquisite!
Shhhh….this box is for my brother-in-law!