Sunday, February 24, 2013

Lavender And Roses

I must admit that I do love flowers. Granted I am not your usual girl who wants them in vases delivered to my door. I am more the....So, what can I cook with them? Spring is coming up, as well as St. Patricks Day so I wanted to do something weaving those two together. What better than taking a step back in time to when Vanilla and Chocolate wasn't the in thing and people looked more to their flower garden for flavor? With this I decided to take a trip with a classic pairing of flavors, Lavender and Rose. Both have been used for centuries to flavor baked goods and they pair perfectly together in this little duo.

My Shortbread recipe for this is a little different than my traditional Irish Shortbread recipe. It still uses the rich Irish Butter but it a much lighter and delicate cookie. This cookie can be rolled out and cut with a cookie cutter before hand, unlike my other recipe but it still does spread a little. I would recommend basic shapes or ones that you don't mind some rounding to. Don't use this recipe for cutters needing sharp edges and I really don't think you should mail these. They are just far too delicate. Now, onto the recipes!

Lavender Irish Shortbread

  • 195 Grams Unbleached All Purpose Flour. (Roughly 1.5 Cups)
  • 65 Grams Cornstarch (Roughly 1/2 Cup)
  • 226 Grams Salted Irish Butter, room temp. (8 ounces - 2 sticks)
  • 60 Grams Confections Sugar (About 1/2 Cup - Sifted)
  • 2 Grams Lavender Extract (1/2 Teaspoon)
**If you can use weight over volume for this recipe. If you need to substitute Dried Lavender, 2 crushed teaspoons.**

  1. Place butter in your mixer and mix until creamy smooth.
  2. Add in confections sugar, mix until smooth and no lumps.
  3. Add in lavender extract. Mix until incorporated. 
  4. Sift together flour and cornstarch.
  5. Add to bowl, mix until it just comes together.
  6. Place between 2 sheets of wax paper.
  7. Roll out until 1/4 inch thick. 
  8. Place on a cookie sheet and stick in the fridge for 3 hours.
  9. Remove from fridge, cut out shapes you wish.
  10. Place cut out cookies on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Work fast, dough warms quickly.
  11. Place back in fridge for 1 hour. (This will help it keep a shape.) Scarp dough can be rerolled, chilled and cut. I usually repeat this until all dough is cut and chilled and just bake all at once.
  12. Preheat oven to 375F.
  13. Bake for 8-12 minutes, or until lightly browned edges, depending on how large a cookie. I bake 2 inch diameter rounds 10 minutes.
  14. Remove from oven and let cool 5 minutes on cookie sheet. Move to wire rack to cool fully. Careful! They are delicate!
  15. Cool fully and enjoy, or decorate. (Dip in dark chocolate or drizzle with rosewater icing - Recipe next!)

Rosewater Icing

  • 150 Grams Confectioners Sugar (About 1 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 - 1 Teaspoon Rosewater (Warning, strong stuff. I use 1/2 and slowly work up by drop if I want it stronger.)
  • 2-4 Tablespoon Milk (Will depend on how thick you want it. I usually use 3-4 depending on humidity for drizzling.)
  1. Sift sugar and place in a bowl.
  2. Whisk in the rosewater and milk until smooth. Add more rosewater for stronger flavor, little goes a loooooooooonnnnnggggg way. Add more milk to thin it out. Add more sugar to stiffen it up if you are wanting to pipe it. 
  3. **Optional Step** Add a smidgen of food coloring if you want it slightly pink.
  4. Drizzle over the top of the cookie and let dry for a few hours to set. 
  5. Enjoy!

And there you have it. Now this recipe does call for some items that people usually don't keep in their kitchen unless they cook constantly. You can find most items on Amazon or from various baking stores online and not for much.


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