Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lavender and Vanilla Shortbread

Lavender and Vanilla Shortbread
An adaptation of English Lemon Shortbread Strips

I love the shortbread and glaze this recipe creates. I have made several variations and this one has been tapping around in my head for awhile. I like it!

For the dough
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon culinary lavender (crushed lightly with mortar and pestle)
1 pound (4 sticks or 32 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vanilla syrup (like that which is used for flavoring coffee)

For the glaze
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons whole (my preference) milk
1 tablespoon culinary laendar (crushed lightly with motar and pestle)

To prepare the dough
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. In a large mixing bowl, add sugar and zest - use your fingers to massage the lavendar into the sugar until very fragrant and combined. Add butter and beat mixture together until smooth. Add syrup and mix until combined and creamy, making sure to scrape down the sides as needed. Add flour mixture and beat just until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Scoop mixture into a 10" x 15" baking pan coated with nonstick spray. Place into the oven and bake until the top is lightly golden, about 25 to 35 minutes. Remove and place pan on a wire rack to cool completely.

To prepare the glaze
In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar, butter, vanilla and milk until smooth. Spread glaze over the cooled shortbread.

Or you could make the glaze without the lavendar in it and instead sprinkle it on the top of the glaze.

After glazing, set aside and let stand at least 30 minutes before cutting.

When cutting, the cooler the shortbread (but not refrigerated), the sturdier it will be. I like to let it sit overnight before cutting. (Except for one little tiny piece from a corner!)

Makes about 40 cookies.