It’s Spring! Celebrate the season with your own hand-crafted “petticoat tails”. Make Lavender Lemon Shortbread for dessert – or just have a bite (or two) with a cup of tea, as they do in England.
Culinary lavender can be purchased in specialty food stores or in your local Cost Plus on Stevens Creek Boulevard in Santa Clara. The delicate taste combination of lavender and lemon cannot be beat for this special cookie, which would make a terrific gift for someone special. But don’t forget to treat yourself, also.
Lavender Lemon Shortbread
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 3/4 cups sifted flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, but we love vanilla)
- 2 teaspoons culinary lavender
- 1 teaspoon King Arthur Flour Sparkling Sugar
- Sift the flour and confectioner’s sugar before measuring, then sift again according to instructions.
- When sifting the lavender with the flour and cornstarch, all of the lavender will not go through the sifter. Rub what’s left between your fingers and put it in the bowl with the rest of the flour mixture.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- In large bowl using electric mixer, beat butter until fluffy.
- Sift together granulated sugar and confectioner’s sugar; add to butter, along with vanilla (if using) and lemon zest.
- Beat until light and fluffy.
- Sift flour, cornstarch, salt, and lavender into a bowl.
- A few large spoonfuls at a time, add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture, combining just until blended and crumbly. Using your hands, keep blending until mixture comes together into a large ball.
- Divide dough in half; using palms and fingers of your hands, pat each half into a ball.
- Flatten each half into a disc with fingers, then press each half into a 9” pie pan, working the dough to the edges of the pan, smoothing the top, and mounding slightly in the center. You will have two pans of unbaked shortbread when this step is completed.
- Press a pattern around the edge with the tines of a fork.
- Press a 1 1/2” circle in the center with a cookie cutter, cutting only partially through.
- With a sharp knife, score 12 equal wedges from center circle to edge, cutting only partially through.
- Prick each wedge and the center circle with the tines of the fork.
- Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon King Arthur Flour Sparkling Sugar over each pan of shaped shortbread dough.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, or until shortbread is firm and very pale gold (it should not brown).
- Remove pans to wire racks.
- With sharp knife, carefully cut completely through scored markings.
- Cool in pie pans.
- Using knife, fork, or fingers, carefully remove “petticoat tails” and center circles from pie pans; cool on racks for an additional 30 minutes.
Store airtight at room temperature or freeze, well-wrapped, for longer storage.
Makes two 9-inch shortbreads (26 pieces total)
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