Lavender Shortbread

Easy home-made Lavender Shortbread

This quick and easy Lavender Shortbread recipe is the perfect place to start if you have never tried using this delicious floral flavour in your cooking. The shortbread is buttery and delicious with a subtle lavender flavour. It is very simple to make and takes under half an hour from start to finish.

Plain shortbread is  delicious – it should have a fairly soft, crumbly texture –   but it also makes great vehicle to showcase a range of flavours,  including lavender, rose geranium, thyme, rosemary and lemon verbena.   It is a great accompaniment to a cup of tea or coffee and is also a good partner with ice-cream or sorbet.

I love lavender!  I grow several varieties in my garden and look forward to the first hot day of the year when you get a waft of lavender scent on the air and know that summer is truly here.   Lavender Shortbread is an excellent way of capturing the essence of this beautiful, fragrant plant.

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What you need to know about making Lavender Shortbread

  • This is a really easy recipe which makes it perfect for those who are not experienced bakers. It is also a great recipe if you want to cook with younger children or for older children to cook by themselves.
  • It is also a very quick recipe – from bowl to table in under half an hour. This makes it great if you need to produce something yummy and home-baked and are short of time.
  • In this recipe, I flavoured my shortbread with my shortbread with fresh, finely chopped lavender leaves from a plant in my garden. It is the leaves, rather than the flowers, that have the strong lavender flavour. If you are using fresh lavender you must be sure that it has not been treated with any chemical pesticides or herbicides.
  • If you do not have access to fresh lavender, you can buy dried culinary lavender in many supermarkets. However, you must make sure that it is labelled for culinary use.
  • Lavender has a strong flavour! Don’t be tempted to use too much. If you use the amounts specified in this recipe, you will get a subtly flavoured shortbread.
  • The addition of a small amount of ground almonds makes a real difference to this recipe. It makes the shortbread crumbly but moist and also goes really well with the lavender flavour.
  • I always use butter in this recipe as I prefer the flavour. However, if you are a vegan or wish to avoid dairy products, you can use a non-dairy substitute instead of the butter.

Using lavender in cooking

Lavender has many culinary uses and its fragrance works well in a variety of sweet and savoury dishes.   However, you do have to be a bit careful though as lavender is a very strongly scented plant and, if you use too much, it can overwhelm other flavours.  For this reason, I think it is best used on its own rather than in combination with other aromatics.

The history of culinary lavender

The English word lavender is thought to be derived either from Old French lavandre which is taken from the Latin lavare “to wash” which refers to the practice of using it in infusions or from the Latin livere “blueish” in reference to its colour.   Lavender (“nard” in Hebrew) is mentioned in the Song of Solomon. 

It was introduced into England in the 1600s.  At that time, it was used to make herb tea which was appreciated for its taste and for its medicinal properties.   It was also used to make a conserve which was prized by members of the aristocracy including, allegedly, Queen Elizabeth 1.    Although lavender is often now associated with southern French cuisine, it was not widely used until the turn of the 20th century and its use was popularised only later  by its inclusion in the 1970s in herbes de Provence, a blend of herbs invented by spice wholesalers.

Other lavender recipes

If you like this Lavender Shortbread you might like to try my rich and creamy Lavender Ice Cream, which is very easy to make, or my simple Lavender Loaf Cake.

Other easy shortbread and biscuit recipes

Baking shortbread or biscuits (cookies) is a really good place to start for inexperienced bakers. They are generally very easy and do not take very long to bake. If you like this recipe, you might also like my Almond Shortbread with Rosewater or simple Lemon Biscuits (Cookies). I also have a great Cheese Biscuit recipe, which you can make with or without chilli, if you want a savoury snack.

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Lavender Shortbread recipe

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Lavender Shortbread

  • Author: Tastebotanical
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 15 biscuits 1x
  • Category: Biscuits
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: English

Description

These crumbly shortbread biscuits, delicately flavoured with lavender, are fantastic as an accompaniment to ice-cream or sorbet – or just with a cup of tea!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 125 g (4 oz) butter 
  • 55 g (2 oz) caster sugar
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) plain flour
  • 20 g (1 oz) cornflour
  • 60 g (2 oz) ground almonds
  • 4 teaspoons fresh, finely chopped lavender leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender)

Instructions

  1. Set your oven to 200 C/400 F/Gas Mark 6.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  3. Add the flour, cornflour and ground almonds and combine.
  4. Detach the small lavender flowers from their stalks and add them to the mixture.
  5. Roll out the shortbread dough to a thickness of approximately 0.5 cm (or a quarter of an inch).
  6. Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes from the dough.
  7. Put the dough shapes onto a greased baking tray.
  8. Bake the shortbread dough shapes for 15 minutes.  They will be done when they are firm to the touch and light golden in colour.
  9. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes

If you are using fresh lavender leaves, make sure that they have not been treated with any chemicals.  Do not use shop-bought lavender unless it is specifically designated as “culinary lavender”.

Keywords: lavender, shortbread, lavender shortbread, lavender biscuits, lavender hearts, lavender cookies

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