Vanilla Bean and Lavender Shortbread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender buds
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Prepare: Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Grind lavender: In a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the dried lavender into a fine powder.
  • Cream butter and sugar: In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in the vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract.
  • Mix dry ingredients: In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, ground lavender, and salt.
  • Combine dough: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing until just combined. Don’t overmix.
  • Slice and Bake: Press the dough into an 8×8 inch pan. Score the dough into squares or rectangles. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until edges are just beginning to turn golden brown.
  • Cookie Shapes: Roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured surface. Use cookie cutters to create desired shapes. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until edges turn slightly golden
  • Cool and enjoy: Let the shortbread cool slightly on the baking sheet before cutting into squares or removing cookies. Cool completely before storing.

Tips:

  • High-quality ingredients: The best vanilla bean paste and culinary lavender will make a big difference.
  • Don’t overbake: Shortbread is best with a tender, slightly crumbly texture. Watch carefully to avoid overbaking.
  • Storage: Store shortbread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Variations:

  • Fresh Lavender: Substitute 2 tablespoons of fresh lavender for the dried (make sure it’s culinary grade).
  • Lemon or Orange Zest: Add 1 teaspoon of finely grated lemon or orange zest along with the lavender for a citrus twist.
  • Sprinkling Sugar: Before baking, sprinkle the top with coarse sugar for a sparkly finish.

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