Cookies are our specialty this time of year. Some of the recipes we feature have a distinctive, Holiday season vibe. But others, like this recipe for Lavender Butter Cookies, have a flavor you’ll find yourself craving throughout the year. Make them in spring to celebrate the season’s first blossoms. Or bake a batch in summer to celebrate the lavender in full bloom.
The aphrodisiac power of lavender
Lavender is symbolic of romance and it is also an aphrodisiac of historic repute. Learn more about the aphrodisiac powers of lavender.
A simple cookie recipe from a popular cookbook author
Comments the recipe’s creator, Jill Silverman Hough, author of 100 Perfect Pairings, “These easy-to-make, easy-to-love cookies are inspired by a day of wine tasting that included a visit to the achingly-beautiful Matanzas Creek Winery and their bountiful lavender garden.”
Jill advises, “After shaping the Lavender Butter Cookie dough into two logs, I usually freeze one of them. That way, a second batch is even easier to make—just thaw, slice, and bake.”
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers see note below
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 large egg white see note below
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
- Food coloring optional
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, lavender, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment or in a large bowl using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, beating until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, stirring until just combined.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Shape each half into a log, about 1 3/4 inches in diameter and 8 inches long. Wrap the logs plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (You can refrigerate the logs as long as overnight, or freeze them for up to several months. Thaw, if necessary, before proceeding.) (For the cookies in the photo, I squared off the log, for square-ish cookies.)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment.
Cut the logs into 3/8-inch slices. Arrange the slices on the prepared baking sheets, about 1/2-inch apart. Bake until just beginning to turn golden at the edges, 11 to 13 minutes. Place the baking sheets to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly before decorating with royal icing (recipe below), if you like. (For the cookies in the photo, I also sprinkled on some silver decorating dust.)
In the bowl of a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, a large bowl using a hand mixer, or a medium bowl using a whisk, combine the sugar, egg white, and lemon juice on slow speed, mixing until thick and smooth.
Color the icing as desired. Use a pastry bag or a resealable bag with a corner snipped off to drizzle the icing over the cookies.
A note on lavender: Dried lavender flowers are available at specialty food stores and in the bulk dried herbs and flowers section at many natural food stores. Besides using them in this recipe, you can sprinkle them into other baked goods and over roasting poultry. You can also mix them into a dried herb blend called herbes de Provence.
About the Royal Icing: This icing is purposefully thin enough to drizzle. If you want stiffer icing, use 1 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar. If you're concerned about using raw egg whites, substitute with the equivalent amount of dried egg whites and water.
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