Lavender shortbread

Lavender shortbread

By
From
B.I.Y. Bake It Yourself
Makes
20

Last year my wife woke up one morning and told me we were taking the kids lavender picking at Hitchin Lavender Farm. ‘Hooray,’ I thought, a bit half-heartedly. The weather looked horrible and the children were grumpy, so the prospect didn’t seem good. But it was brilliant! The kids spent the day legging it up and down rows of purple flowers while Sarah and I wandered around happily. Maybe it was the thick aroma of lavender, maybe it was the surprise enthusiasm of the littl’uns, maybe it was just a day of fresh air, but we all got home – with a massive bag of lavender – feeling like we’d won! These shortbread biscuits are one of the results of that day and they are lovely.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon lavender flowers
300g plain flour, plus more to dust

Tool kit

Quantity Ingredient
electric whisk
rolling pin
cookie cutters, (any shape)
baking tray or sheet
wire cooling rack
palette knife

Method

  1. Chop the butter, tip it into a bowl and beat to a creamy texture with an electric whisk. (If your butter is not at room temperature, chop it and put it into a jug with tepid water to soften up for 10 minutes, then drain the water out of the jug.) Add the sugar and salt and beat until soft and creamy.
  2. Tip in the lavender, sift in the flour and gently combine with a spoon, then tip on to a lightly floured surface and gently knead until fully combined. Try to handle the dough as little as possible; the heat from your hands will liven up the butter in the dough and leave it greasy and hard to handle.
  3. Flour a sheet of baking parchment and lay the dough on to it. Flour the dough, lay another sheet of baking parchment on top, and roll it out between the 2 sheets to a depth of about 8 mm. You may have to turn the parchment over from time to time, so peel it off and re-lay it to stop kinks forming.
  4. Cut out your chosen shapes. Re-roll the leftover dough and make more biscuits. Lay the biscuits on a baking tray or sheet lined with baking parchment and put in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm up.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C and bake for 20–25 minutes or until they are just beginning to get the slightest tinge of colour. Don’t over-bake them!
  6. Take out and transfer to a cooling rack with a palette knife. Make a cup of tea and get dunking.

Note

  • This recipe has a level 1 (beginner) difficulty.

Extras

  • Thick shortbread biscuits are absolutely perfect for dunking in tea or making as a gift. The salt and the lavender combined in this recipe make them really moreish, so be careful; your friends may get fewer than you had intended... Make sure you use lavender flowers, not lavender essence, or the shortbread will taste soapy. Try making them with different herbs or flavours: a bit of fresh lemon thyme works well; maybe try a bit of unwaxed lemon zest, too. As long as you roll them out gently and don’t over-work the dough, you’re good to go.
Tags:
Great British Bake Off
Baking
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