Monday, March 21, 2011

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
12 drops lavender essential oil
½ teaspoon salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
2 1/3 cups cake flour or unbleached regular flour
1 large egg white
1½ tablespoons dried lavender flowers
1 tablespoon sugar for sprinkling

1. In a food processor, blend the sugar and essential oil for 15 seconds, until well combined. Add the salt and the butter and pulse until the butter is well incorporated. Add the egg and pulse until incorporated. Add the flour and carefully pulse, until the dough forms small pebble-like shapes. Remove the dough from the processor and gently combine by hand until smooth. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
2. Roll out the dough to a thickness of ¼ inch.
Note: You may need to let it soften slightly before attempting to roll it out. Rolling it out between two sheets of plastic wrap may be helpful.
3. Line your rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
4. Cut the dough into rectangles and transfer to the baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch between each shortbread. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes. If you have bits of leftover dough, mush them together, chill slightly, roll them out to ¼-inch thickness, and add to the baking sheet.
5. Preheat the oven to 325ºF.
6. Whisk the egg white in a mixing bowl for about 10 seconds, until it is frothy. Remove the cookies from the refrigerator, brush with the egg white and sprinkle with sugar and lavender flowers, pressing them slightly into the dough.
7. Bake until the edges are just starting to turn golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool before serving. The flavor and texture are much better at room temperature.

Makes about 27 2x2 inch cookies
Adapted from Mandy Aftel and Daniel Patterson’s Aroma

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