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Lemon-Glazed Lavender Shortbread – perfectly elegant for a summer bridal shower, country wedding or delicate summer treat!

Lavender, one of the easiest herbs to grow, is cultivated for its scent and taste. Grown in the garden or pots, hues of blue, mauve and purple will continue to flower from late June through fall. Bake a batch of Lemon Glazed Lavender cookies, sip a tall glass of Lavender Lemonade and summer just got even better!

Lemon Glazed Lavender Shortbread

INGREDIENTS

1 Teaspoon dried organic lavender flowers*

3/4 cup unsalted butter, slightly room temperature

1 Tablespoon Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening (non-hydrogenated)

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 Teaspoon salt

Glaze

1 cup Confectioners’ sugar, sifted

2 Tablespoons Lemon juice

1 Teaspoon Lemon zest

Water

While shortbread is in the oven, prepare glaze: whisk confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice together, add water in small amounts and whisk until glaze is smooth. (If glaze becomes too runny, add more sugar). Stir in zest.

PREPARATION

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Grind the lavender flowers using a mortar and pestle. In a large bowl, using a mixer, cream the butter and shortening until fluffy. Add the lavender and combine.

In a small bowl, sift the flour and sugar, add the salt and whisk together. While the mixer is running on low, add half the amount of dry ingredients, then add remainder until texture resembles fine crumbs. Form into a disk, wrap in wax paper and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thick on a lightly floured surface, (lightly flour rolling pin), using a 2-inch diameter round cookie cutter dipped into flour, cut out rounds. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet spaced 2 inches apart, reroll and cut scraps.

Bake cookies in preheated oven until edges are golden (tops remain light), about 16-18 minutes. Let cookies cool on a wire rack over baking sheet (to catch drips), then using a teaspoon, pour glaze over the tops and lightly spread to edges. Let set for 20 minutes before serving. Store in an air-tight container for several days.

LAVENDER LEMONADE

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon dried lavender*

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained

1 lemon, sliced to 1/8-inch slices

Ice cubes

Lavender sprigs for garnish

Combine sugar with 2 1/2 cups water in a a medium pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the lavender blooms to the sugar water, cover and remove from the heat. Let stand at least 20 minutes and up to several hours.

Strain mixture and discard lavender. Pour infusion into a glass pitcher, add lemon juice, lemon slices and another 2 1/2 cups water. Stir well, refrigerate until ready to serve.

Pour into tall glasses filled with ice, garnish with a fresh sprig and lemon slice.

*Dried lavender can be purchased in gourmet shops that sell dried herbs for cooking and baking. How to dry your own lavender: Harvest lavender before it’s fully in bloom and in the morning when the plant is dry, then cut mature flowers just above the leaves. Gather and tie into a bunch with twine, find a cool, dark place and hang upside down to dry.

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