Guest Author - Caitlin McLeod
I simply adore Scottish shortbread’s rich, buttery flavor, usually reserving it for a special treat. However, I recently have tried making it myself, with outstanding results. Shortbread is traditionally baked in a pie pan or round cake pan and cut into thick wedges. Here is my recipe for shortbread cookies flavored with lavender. This recipe includes a vegan version. I’ve not attempted to use gluten-free flour, so feel free to experiment.
Lavender Shortbread Cookies
1 cup butter or coconut oil, softened
1/3 cup sugar
¼ tsp. salt
1-½ tsp. lavender buds
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
For the butter version:
1) Using a hand-held mixer or a wooden spoon, cream together the butter and sugar, then add vanilla and lavender and blend well.
2) Stir in the flour and the salt. The dough should gradually come together into a ball.
3) Wrap the ball of dough in wax paper, flatten it somewhat, and chill for 30 minutes or more.
4) Roll about half the dough on a floured board or marble slab, to about ¼” thick. Cut out with desired shapes, then lift the cookies onto an ungreased baking sheet.
5) Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350º F, until golden brown. Allow to cool on the pans for a few minutes before removing the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the coconut oil (vegan) version:
1) Using a wooden spoon, blend the coconut oil with the sugar until the sugar is incorporated. Note: a beater or mixer does not work so well with this step.
2) Add the lavender and vanilla, and continue mixing. Stir in the flour and salt. At this point you will need to use your clean hands to mix the dough, as coconut oil does not absorb the flour as readily as butter does. This can take quite some time for the dough to come together. It will be very
3) Pat the dough into a 9” x 13” glass baking pan. If you put a big chunk of dough into each corners of the pan and work toward the middle, this will be easier. This recipe will fill the whole pan; try to pat it to and even thickness throughout.
4) Bake at 350º F for about 12-15 minutes until golden brown. Remove pan from oven and set on a rack to cool. Cut the dough into about 15-16 squares.
Important step: Allow the cookies to cool completely before attempting to remove them from the pan; otherwise they will just fall apart. The cookies will still be quite crumbly, and will hold together better once cooled.
Both types of cookies should be stored in an airtight container such as a tin. Both can also be frozen for up to 1 month. Enjoy!