Subtle and rich, these small squares pair nicely with an afternoon cup of tea.
We used culinary lavender from Blue Skye Farm, which is available until July by contacting Lisa McPherson through www.BlueSkyeLavender.com. The culinary kind is grown without pesticides and usually has a less-pronounced aroma than other kinds of lavender.
Make Ahead: The lavender vanilla needs to infuse overnight at room temperature. The shortbread are best eaten the same day they are made.
Servings: 16 large or 32 small squares
- 1/4 cup superfine sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh culinary lavender flowers (see headnote)
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at a cool room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon lavender vanilla extract (see NOTE)
- 1 cup flour
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Use a pencil to mark or crease a 9-by-4-inch area on a piece of parchment paper, and use the paper to line a baking sheet.
Combine the sugar and lavender in a mini food processor or designated spice grinder; grind thoroughly, then use a fine-mesh strainer to sift the sugar into a mixing bowl. Discard anything left behind in the strainer.
Add the butter and lavender vanilla extract to the mixing bowl. Use a fork to blend until well incorporated and smooth.
Sift the flour and salt over the butter mixture, then use the fork to process the mixture to form a soft dough that holds together.
Transfer to the 9-by-4-inch area on the parchment paper; pat into an even rectangle. Use the fork to score the top and edges, if desired. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly browned on the top and bottom. Transfer the shortbread on the paper to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, then cut into squares while still warm.
Cool completely before storing between pieces of waxed paper in an airtight container.
NOTE: To make lavender vanilla extract, combine 1/4 cup pure vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon fresh culinary lavender flowers in a small bowl. Cover and let sit overnight. Strain and discard the lavender before using the vanilla extract. Transfer to a bottle with a tight-fitting lid and store at a cool room temperature.
Adapted from a recipe by Bethesda resident Lisa McPherson, of BlueSkyeLavender.com.
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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