Monday, July 18, 2011

Lavender shortbread

A taste of summer... or old ladies with lace handkerchiefs, depending on your associations with lavender! These are gently aromatic rather than over-powering. Elegant and refined, they would not be out of place at a proper English afternoon tea - which is just what I cooked them for today, when a dear family friend in her eighties called round for tea. Leave out the lavender and it's the simplest biscuit recipe in the world. Add in a tablespoon of garam masala or the grated zest of a lemon for a totally different take on them. If you think you're not a baker, then these are a good place to start - even my father can make them - he calls them 2-4-6 biccies (because of the imperial measurements) and is known to make them for grandchildren. From beginning to end they take maximum 20 minutes to make! The only way you can go badly wrong is to overcook them. Keep an eye on them like a hawk after the first 5 minutes - under done is better than over done with these, they go bitter if they get too dark. You are looking for a pale golden colour.

Preheat oven to 180C (170C for fan oven)
Makes 25

2 oz sugar
4 oz soft butter
6 oz plain flour
1 heaped tsp fresh or dried lavender flowers (pull them off the main stem so you have lots of tiny florettes)
More lavender and sugar for sprinkling.

Rub the butter with the sugar by hand or using an electric whisk. Add flour and lavender or other flavouring. Whisk or mix to combine. Then using your hands bring it together into a ball, pushing and kneading it slightly till it is in one big lump.

Lightly flour a clean surface. Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch (5mm) thick with a rolling pin. Cut out using a medium (5cm diametre) round or heart shaped biscuit cutter and place onto a non stick baking sheet.

Bake for 8-10 mins, watching carefully. Remove when pale golden. Sprinkle lightly with a couple of teaspoons of sugar. Remove from baking sheet onto a wire cooling rack. Sprinkle with more lavender to serve.


  1. Greetings! I have been reading your blog for a while now, it's brilliant. I just wanted to let you know I have included your photo of the gorgeous lavender bisuits on my blog with a link back to your blog. If you want me to remove the picture just let me know and I'll delete it asap! I am making some for Valentines day - the other half loves them. Hope all well with you. Best Wishes.

  2. You're very welcome to use it. Thanks for asking. Hope he enjoys! Lucky man!


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