There is something decadent, yet, delicate about a good shortbread. By combining the fragrant lavender with the bite of lemon, you create a wonderfully balanced, refreshing treat that helps chase away the blues of winter. While it is still January, this shortbread holds the promise of Spring.
How do I balance floral flavors in baking?
To put it simply… F****** carefully.
Floral flavors can either add a really beautiful, aromatic quality to your baking that invokes a truly sensory experience. OR, it can make your cookies taste like soap.
No one likes soap cookies.
Go slow and add a little at a time. And, everyone's preferences (and soap tolerances) are a little different. The amount of lavender in this recipe reflects my personal preference and an amount that can please the most people. It keeps everything balanced without overpowering the senses. Could you add more before you reach a soap-of-no-return threshold? Of course!
If you want to try and add more, I would add it at ¼ teaspoon at a time, always stopping to taste your dough.
Just remember with recipes like these, you're leaving the dough for at least an hour to "rest." During this time, you're letting the butter firm up, helping the final texture. You're also allowing the lemon and lavender a chance to really bloom (see what I did there?). If you find that the final punch still isn't enough for you, you can always top with extra lavender. This recipe takes into account that more lavender will be sprinkled on top, so it doesn't overload the shortbread.
Shortbread in a tarte pan?
Look, sometimes the idea of rolling out dough and breaking out cookie cutters and getting flour all over my counter does not sound like my idea of a good time. Sometimes, I want easy. And what's easier than pressing dough into a pan and walking away? Not much.
Seriously, the prep for this dough has you finished in less than 10 minutes. Then, it just sits in the fridge until you're ready to bake it.
AND, the best part, by putting it in a greased tarte pan, it comes out super easily! The sides slide off, and you're left with a little tray that makes it easy to plate this up for any event.
Now, if you wanted to roll this out and use cookie cutters, you totally could! But, you'll probably need to double the glaze recipe to account for the extra surface area.
Lemon Lavender Shortbread
- 10" tart pan
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried lavender
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 to 2 teaspoon milk
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon dried lavender
- Cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until fully combined. Add flour. Fold in lemon and lavender.
- Grease a 10 inch tart pan. Press dough into pan. Cover with cellophane and place in fridge for 1-12 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Let cool.
- Combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk for glaze and pour over shortbread. Top with lemon zest and extra lavender. Slice and enjoy!