Well, my mum finished the Camino. 800 some odd kilometres of walking, beaming the entire way, sending me pictures of the foodie delights she would enjoy each evening (paella, €3 bottle of wine, fresh cheese, local olives… I mean, come on).
So, she reached Santiago and was like… well, what now? So she kept walking. She walked to the end of the road, literally called Cape Finisterre, the end of the land. Not wanting to come home quite yet she hopped a train back up to France and spent a couple days in Provence (again, come on, I am green with envy!).
More unbelieveable food and wine there, of course. She texted me pictures of her visit to Châteauneuf-du-Pape and her strolls through endless fields of lavender. This recipe is my small way of paying tribute to her adventure, and trying to live vicariously through it.
My garden is at peak abundance this month so I’m keen to use as much of it as possible and preserve the rest. Since we started our lavender from seed and don’t spray any pesticides on it, our bushes are perfect candidates for cooking with (see also: this delicious cocktail).
Culinary lavender is available in some grocery stores, but it might take some hunting around to find. If you do have some cleanly grown fresh stuff available, I encourage you still to dry it out for this recipe. Fresh lavender has too much moisture in it for baking and could make these cookies a little gummier than usual.
As for my mum, henceforth referred to as the Lady Deebs, she has traveled on to Zurich, where she met up with a good friend of mine. They are currently doing a multi-day hike into the Alps because of course she is.
My mum, the consummate adventurer…
|Lavender Shortbread Cookies|| |
- ¾ lb unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar, extra for sprinkling
- 1 Tbsp culinary lavender
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3½ cups flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- In a cleaned coffee grinder, grind up the culinary lavender. If you don't have a coffee grinder available you can finely chop it with a kitchen knife.
- Using the paddle attachment on a standing mixer (or using a good ol' bowl and spoon, I'm lazy), mix together the butter and sugar until combined. Add vanilla and finely chopped lavender and mix.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the salt and flour. Add to the stand mixer and mix until a dough forms.
- Turn dough out on to a floured surface and roll into a log roughly 6 centimetres in diameter. (I flattened each side on my counter to form little squares but you can keep it round if you prefer a circular cookie). Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the log of dough into ¼ inch thick slices. Place slices on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Allow cookies to cool to room temperature and then sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar or lavender sugar.*