I'll be the first to admit that the men in my life are big dessert guys. I'm talking give me that mondo chocolate chip cookie or nothing at all. So therefore when I want to treat myself to a girlier treat, I tend to go all out. These salted lavender honey shortbread cookies fit the bill on all levels. And to bump up their girl power even more I used a heart cookie cutter to make some of mine even cuter (if I have any male readers I truly apologize). These would look equally as great though left in their more rustic form like so
When it comes to these cookies, they can really be shaped to your own liking and fit many different occasions. These cookies go far beyond the everyday shortbread and are certainly fancy enough to grace any "high tea" table you set for you and your friends but are so incredibly easy, you'll have everyone fooled. The key to this recipe is finding the right ingredients and using the right tools. Lavender isn't the most commonly found kitchen ingredient, but low and behold it actually can be found in places other than just online.
What's great about this particular lavender is that it will last you a very very long time. Well worth the drive to the local mall if I do say so myself. Besides high quality ingredients the one other thing that will make these shortbread a success for you is using the right tool. You'll want to make sure to crush the lavender before you put it in or else you'll be chowing down on some prickly pines (yuck!), which is where my handy-dandy mortar and pestle come into play.
DON'T be afraid if you've never used one. They are absolutely a cinch and can be used for so many different things in the kitchen (and just so happen to be reasonably priced if you know where to look). Let's see why this makes such a difference.
(Lavender before being crushed)
(and after. much better for cookie batter)
After you've solved these two little problems the rest of the recipe is about as basic as you can get and in no time you'll have cookies that are worthy of any special occasion. And maybe, just maybe the boys will be invited too. :)
Salted Lavender Honey Shortbread
Servings: about 16
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup cold unsalted butter (cut into small cubes)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of lavender (ground in spice grinder or with mortar and pestle)
sprinkling of sea salt
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take an 8x8 baking dish and line with parchment paper allowing for some overhang on each side. Combine all ingredients except the sea salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on low speed until combined and smooth. (Note: the dough with look shaggy and dry. However, you should not see any chunks of butter left) Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan and pierce all over with fork (make sure not to go all the way through the dough with the fork). Bake for 35-40 min until cookies are light brown all over. Allow cookies to cool for five minutes and then sprinkle tops with sea salt. Allow to cool in pan an additional 30 minutes. Lift cookies in parchment from pan and either cut into squares or use a cookie cutter to cut out different shapes. Serve and enjoy.
Recipe adapted from Evil Shenanigans