Shortbread has long been a favorite of mine. I love how a few basic ingredients (that I pretty much always have in the house) can be turned into something so delicious. As with cheesecake, I usually tend to stick with vanilla shortbread. Vanilla just shines in such a simple cookie. But it was time to try something new. Not just a new shortbread, but a completely new-to-me flavor: lavender! Of course I’d seen lavender used all over the place, but until now I had never tasted it.
When I opened the jar of lavender I was a little concerned. I’m not a huge fan of the scent of lavender, and I was nervous that my shortbread would end up tasting like soap. But I needn’t have worried. These were delicious—crumbly and buttery, with just a soft floral scent.
In the introduction to this recipe, the author of the cookbook mentioned that the first time she tasted lavender it was in a lavender Earl Grey iced tea. Since I can hardly ever leave well enough alone, I just had to add an Earl Grey glaze to these.
Aren’t they pretty?
Lavender Shortbread with Earl Grey Glaze
For the shortbread
1/3 cup (70 g) superfine sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried culinary lavender, plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
3 sticks (350 g) unsalted butter, cubed, slightly softened
2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose flour
For the glaze
1 Earl Grey tea bag
1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup (114 g) confectioners’ sugar
1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a quarter sheet pan with parchment paper.
2. Combine the two sugars, the lavender, and the salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed for a minute or so, until the sugars smell of lavender. (You can also just rub the lavender into the sugar with your hands.)
3. Beat the butter into the sugar mixture until well combined. Mix in the flour on low speed until just combined.
4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and pat the dough down as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the top with additional superfine sugar.
5. Bake for 40-55 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan.
6. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan, place on a large cutting board, and cut into 24 squares. Transfer the cookies onto a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Meanwhile, place the tea bag into the boiling water and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and allow the tea to cool completely.
8. Place the confectioners’ sugar into a medium bowl. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of the cooled tea. Mix well. If the mixture is too thin, add some more confectioners’ sugar. If the mixture is too thick, add some more of the tea.
9. Spoon some of the glaze onto each cookie and garnish with some lavender buds.
Makes 24 cookies