Saturday, July 08, 2006

Lavender Heart Cookies

I was going through my recipe books yesterday, looking for something new to try in the biscuit baking line and saw this recipe, which has always intrigued me, for Lavender Heart Cookies. I'd never tried it before, as the idea of using lavender in baking seems a little bizarre...interesting but probably getting results of 'yuk Mum, what are these bits?'!

Anyway in the spirit of culinary adventure I thought I'd have a go. The ingredients were minimal - butter, sugar, flour and flowers! Lavender florets. So off to pick the lavender. Not much was required, just two tablespoons of fresh florets - the little purple flower bits off the main stalk, so I had a nice therapeutic moment selecting the best stalks from my lavender hedge, which is still producing new flowers despite it being the middle of winter. Then mixing it all together into a crumbly dough, which is more crumb than dough, but eventually does all work together. After its rest in the fridge I tentatively rolled out the dough, still crumbling madly, but persuaded to stay together by an insistent rolling pin. I churlishly refused youngest offers of help cutting out the hearts...mean of me, I know, but this was my journey of exploration not hers this time!

They came out of the oven, fragrant and golden. The moment of reckoning drew near. Children, scenting new baking, gathered around. The girls uncritically tucked in, my son, the conservative connoisseur, turned away, but changed his mind at the appreciative noises around him. A cautious nibble and he was convinced - I'm not trying to poison them...!

So a success. The adults, later that evening, also liked them. ''Elizabethan'' suggested my sister-in-law, and "packaged in a pretty box they'd make a great gift".

So here's the recipe in case you'd like a culinary adventure too!

Lavender Heart Cookies
115g/4oz butter
90ml/6 tablespoons caster sugar
175g/6oz plain flour
2 tablespoons fresh lavender florets

Cream together the butter and 60ml/4 tablespoons sugar till light and fluffy. Stir in the flour and lavender and work it in, kneading with your hands till it comes together into a soft ball of dough. Cover with clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. Roll out on a lightly floured surface. Stamp out the cookies with a heart shaped cutter (alternatively a fluted-edged round cutter). Makes about 18 with a 5cm/2inch cutter. Put carefully onto a lightly greased baking tray and sprinkle the remaining sugar onto the top of each shape. Bake at 200C/400F for about 10 minutes till golden. Leave the cookies on the tray for 5 minutes, before putting on to a cooling rack.


  1. If only I had some lavender plants....

  2. ..........this made me miss France, where the lavender is in full bloom, and the perfume scent fills the air...I do think my heart is there!

  3. Pretty! It seems impossible that lavender could be good to eat, but with butter and sugar you probably can't go wrong.


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