Don’t get me wrong, I love chocolate. Like, a lot. So much that its name has a happy place featured in my blog title. But I thought that instead of doing the typical decadent chocolate dessert in celebration of the upcoming Valentine’s Day, I’d do something a little different…Lavender Shortbread Cookies!
Lavender has been linked to romance throughout history. In Ancient Roman times, married women allegedly slept with bundles of lavender next to their beds to infuse passion in the bedroom. Single women in Tudor England were said to have sipped lavender tea with hopes of realizing their true soul mate. While women in the Victorian Era tucked small sacks of the herb in their cleavage to bring them good luck in love. And the (oh-so gendered) list goes on and on. Love and lavender go together like gravy and rice. Not to mention the deliciously floral flavor it can add to desserts like these classic, buttery shortbread cookies.
So no matter where you are in your romantic life on this most celebrated (or dreaded) day of love, these lavender cookies are sure to spruce it up. I personally wouldn’t shove them down my shirt, but I’ll leave that up to you to decide 😉
PS: If you’re not a fan of lavender or you’re fed up with love at the moment, ditch it in exchange for a ½ tablespoon of lemon rind. Voila! You’ve got lemon shortbread cookies instead!
- 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups of flour
- 1 tablespoon of dried lavender flowers
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt
- granulated sugar for dusting
Beat the butter and sugar together in a mixer or a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and continue beating until combined.
Add the flour, salt, and lavender (or lemon if you prefer – see notes section) to the butter mixture, a little bit at a time, and beat until combined.
Get out a rectangle of parchment paper or plastic wrap, about 12 inches in length. Shape the dough into a “log” formation that’s about 10 inches in length. You’ll need to flour your hands so that the dough doesn’t stick. Flour here is your friend.
Once you’ve got your log formed (or for smaller cookies, two logs), place in the freezer to chill for 30 minutes. Halfway through, you might want to check to make sure your log is still rounded and hasn’t flattened on one side. If it’s started to flatten, take it out and smooth out and then return to the freezer.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Set out a plate with granulated sugar sprinkled on it. Remove the dough from the wrap and slice into cookies at your preferred thickness. As you cut, dip one side of each cookie into the sugar and then set on a parchment-lined baking sheet, sugar side up. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until bottoms start to turn golden. Cool on a wire cooling rack.
Keep the dough chilled while you’re cutting. If it starts to get too soft, return to freezer for 15 minutes and then proceed.
My favorite doggy valentine was quite hopeful throughout the baking process!
Recipe adapted from Darla.