Besides the many qualities that lavender has, it is also great in cooking. I was trying to think of a biscuit (cookie if you’re in the US) that I could use lavender in, but couldn’t think of a French one, as they don’t do tea and biscuits like we do. So instead I ended up doing this shortbread recipe, which of course is Scottish. I then remembered sablé biscuits, which means ‘sand’, they have similar ingredients to shortbread, but with the addition of 2 egg yolks and an egg.
Maybe I’ll do them next time, for now, here’s a recipe for Almond and lavender shortbread. The biscuits are very moreish and won’t last long! The lavender is subtle, but adds a whiff of something exotic and looks pretty! The ground almonds make them very crumbly.
Almond and Lavender Shortbread
- 120 gm butter
- room temperature
- 60 gm caster sugar
- Lavender infused sugar if you have it
- 120 gm flour
- 60 gm ground almonds
- 2 tbsp lavender blossoms
- a pinch of salt
This is best made with lavender sugar, but you have to have made it at least 2 weeks before. If you want to make lavender sugar, take a handful of lavender blossoms, take them off the stem with a fork or your fingers and put in half a jar of sugar and leave somewhere cool with the lid on
For those of you who don’t have lavender sugar already in your cupboard (me) you can put the blossoms into a blender with the sugar and whiz it up to a fine powder and put it through a sieve.
Or do what I did which was to bruise the flowers in a pestle and mortar. I like the texture of the lavender in the biscuit, but it really is a matter of taste.
Mix together the butter and the sugar, with a spoon or an electric mixer, until it is light and creamy and then add 1 tbsp of the bruised lavender blossoms.
Next add the ground almonds and then the sieved flour and salt and mix until you have a thick dough.
This should be done quite quickly, as you don’t want to over work it.
Roll the dough into a fat sausage, the same diameter as you want the biscuits to be.
Wrap it in clingfilm and put it in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
Meanwhile preheat the oven to 160°c.
Bring out the roll from the fridge after it has cooled and cut it into slices about 7mm thick.
And lay these on a baking tray covered with grease proof paper.
Cook on the middle rack for 25 mins or until the shortcake just starts to colour, then take them out of the oven.
Sprinkle the shortbread with the remaining 1 tbsp lavender blossom mixed with 1 tbsp sugar and leave in the tin to cool. If you try and lift them out of the tin at this point they will crumble. When they have cooled enough to handle, put them onto a wire rack.
Enjoy with a cup of Earl Grey Tea!
And don’t forget to ‘like’ my facebook page on the right if you haven’t already done so, and leave a message on my last post and you’ll be included in the free giveaway of Celia Lindsell’s lavender bags.