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Lavender Lemon Shortbread

Lemon Lavender Shortbread

The sun finally feels like it is beginning to come out of hibernation, indulging in a few more precious moments with me each day. After spending a winter in England, I realized just how dependent I am on her warm rays. The cloudy English skies and brilliant fogs, while a novelty at first, grew to become oppressive. I soon felt as withered as the waning plant I kept in my windowsill; the plant turning a shade of brown as it slowly tossed its leaves to the floor. Each day the sun stayed hidden behind the clouds, my energy drained ever so slightly from my limbs, taking a small part of my spirit with it.

The sun, I have discovered, is the cure to the simplest case of winter blues.

Lemon Lavender Shortbread Lemon Lavender Shortbread

As a respite from trudging through foot high snow drifts and scraping the frost off frozen windshields, the sun brought the feeling of spring the last few days. With temperatures above freezing for the first time in months, I shed my winter coat and walked around in a simple sweatshirt. Though it was still far to cold outside for such antics, I wanted to feel the warmth of the sun on my face, to absorb the glow deep into my skin, to replenish the energy a winter of bone chilling temperatures took away.

The sun's rare gift of spring will quickly decline back into winter, but I feel recharged, ready to put back on my mittens and wrap a scarf back around my neck.

Lemon Lavender Shortbread

With a feeling of spring in the air, I was taken back briefly to the flavors of last summer and a resplendent glass of my summer drink of choice—Lavender Lemonade. Even though it is too soon to dream of enjoying a glass while basking in the hot summer sun, I could not resist but bring the flavors together in a new form.

Shortbread is a clean slate in terms of flavor. The buttery, sandy texture of shortbread, while lovely on its own, lends itself well to simple mix-ins. The zest of a couple lemons and the subtle scent of lavender brought a feeling of spring into my kitchen, the aroma hanging in the air long after the cookies emerged from the oven.

Lemon Lavender Shortbread

Lavender Lemon Shortbread brings a bright, refreshing flavor to a winter's afternoon. The classic sandy texture of shortbread meets lemon zest and lavender buds. The lemon is the predominant flavor while the lavender imparts a subtle tone to the overall profile. To add extra sweetness, the cookies are rolled with lemon-scented sugar before heading into the oven. These shortbread cookies are best accompanied with a warm beverage and visions of spring.

Note: Please be sure to use culinary lavender and not lavender labeled for another purpose, which may be sprayed with pesticides or coated in inedible solutions. Edible lavender can readily be found in most health food stores.

One Year Ago: Rum Raisin Ice Cream
Two Years Ago: Lemon Chocolate Tart and Peanut Butter Swirled Brownies

Lavender Lemon Shortbread

Yields about 1 1/2 dozen

1/2 cup (113 grams) butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (45 grams) powdered sugar
Zest of 2 lemons, divided
1/2 teaspoon lavender buds, ground or chopped finely
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

In large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, powdered sugar, zest of 1 lemon, lavender, vanilla, and salt until the mixture looks like a coarse sand. Mix in the flour until the dough comes together.

In a small bowl, mix together the remaining lemon zest and granulated sugar with your fingers until fragrant. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out shortbread until 1/4-inch thick. Sprinkle on the lemon scented sugar and lightly press it into the shortbread with the rolling pin. Cut out shapes and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

Reader Comments (28)

Ah yes, I am definitely suffering from that lack of English sun at the moment! These are a perfect little reminder that warmer temperatures are (hopefully) just round the corner.
02.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn
I agree with you, I'm ready to start complaining about how hot it is outside. But what a scrumptious way to welcome spring!
02.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterUnnati
This shortbread is absolutely heavenly! I have a lavender farm a few miles from my house, and have made an almost identical recipe. It is outstanding. Lovely photos!
Ahh, that is why as a brit I eat so many biscuits! They look absolutely lovely - very very springlike. I love making lemon & thyme shortbread biscuits which have that same summery notes ... gorgeous photos too!
02.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLouise
Mmm this recipe is fabulous. So light and pretty!
I always appreciate the lyricalness of your writing. And I love how the lemon slices capture the essence of the bright sunshine that you miss you so much (I, too, feel I need light & warmth to flourish!). The texture of these cookies sounds incredible - something I've absolutely got to try.
These sound lovely!
02.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke Fiore
I too, have been craving/indulging in the sunshine where possible. These sound Delicious, and conveniently I saw lavender in the store just the other day! Thanks for sharing, I know what to bake next... Warm regards from Calgary, AB.
02.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDani
it's so true - the rare sunny and warm day in the middle of winter is good medicine. I do love a shortbread cookie with my tea, and your lavender lemon recipe looks delicious.
02.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterla domestique
So beautiful. Whole post and site is so, so beautiful. I love it.
02.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnnie
I have made variations of this..
But never presented as prettily as you have..
And I love the quote..It makes the cookies even more beautiful and delicious.
A friend from Texas mentioned your blog to me and now I follow you:)
02.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMonique
This shortbread flavors definitely is filled with sunshine! Cannot wait for summer :)
I definitely have a case of winter time depression here in Montana. The clouds sit low and the snow is resistant to melt. Some lemon and shortbread is exactly what I need right now. Or maybe a vacation....
Your blog is so lovely and charming! I've tried 4 of your recipes already since discovering it a few days ago, and they've all been perfect. I, too, have strayed from my degree - after getting my B.A. in Political Science I'm pursuing my love of all things sweet, creamy, baked, and delicious. You're a newfound inspiration and I look forward to trying my hand at these delicate shortbreads!
02.28.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristen
I've been looking for another reason to justify buying a lavender plant, this just may do the trick! :) Beautiful photos.
03.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDawnielle
Ah, shortbread must be contagious - I hadn't made it in a while and decided to tackle it for this week's post. Now I'm shortbread obsessed and would LOVE to get one of those beautiful shortbread molds that have pretty flowers and designs on them. Your shortbread are beautiful, and I would like to try some with these flavours!
I can smell the lavender and taste the butter in these. YUM. Can't wait to try them.
03.1.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDena
I absolutely, positively love baking with lavender, and lemon is such a perfect partner. I bet these precious shortbread bites taste like a sunny spring afternoon! Will definitely have to try these out.
03.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDarcy
I have been planning to try levander flavoured cakes for a long time, I have even already bought levander, and this great recipe definitely inspired me. Thank you very much for sharing and btw great pictures as always.
03.2.2013 | Unregistered Commenter4tastyseasons
I have yet to taste lavender. It sounds like such an interesting flavor, but I keep thinking it will taste like soap. However these cookies look really nice, especially for spring. :)
This lovely shortbread brings back happy memories of a trip I took a few years ago with my daughter. The local open air market sold a lemon and lavender shortbread that we loved. Now I can recreate it and surprise her. Lovely recipe.
03.2.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristi RImkus
I'm going to try this recipe soon! Lemon and lavender reminds me of summer in South Italy (lemons) and Provence (lavender). Who doesn't want to be in those places???
I wonder what the results would be if you substituted a drop or two of lavender oil for the vanilla... I'll definitely have to make these soon!
03.7.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHannahBeth
I am curious why you chose that quote to match your post?
03.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRuby
Thanks for the awesome recipe Kristin! I made these this morning, and I've already eaten 5...they're so buttery and delicious!
Ooooo these sound lovely...
Picture it ! A plate full of these, a warm pot of tea sitting under the cozy and a good book, Ahhhh heaven !!
02.28.2014 | Unregistered CommenterLadyMichigan
To the lady with the ? about lavender oil, what ever you use must be edible grade suitable for humans to eat.
03.1.2014 | Unregistered CommenterLadyMichigan

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