Fancy cookie time!
After my impulse buy of lavender from the spice aisle at Meijer, I was determined to make a lemon and lavender something. Would it be pound cake? Biscotti? Then I stumbled across the recipe for these cookies.
I wasn't sure if I was worthy of them. Their simplicity ultimately is responsible for their almost obnoxious sophistication. Would I have to get dressed up to eat them, I thought. The answer is no, in case you were wondering the same thing. A cup of tea doesn't hurt though.
Now, you may be like me and may never have tried lavender anything before. Or maybe it's old news and I've been living in a cave the past 20 years. Either way, don't be afraid of it. These cookies are delightful, mild, lemony and addictive. Take my advice and portion yourself out two cookies because one's just plain not enough and three, well you might feel guilty and these aren't the cookies you want to use up that emotion on.
Lemon & Lavender Cookies
Adapted from When Harry Met Salad
¾ c. sugar
2 T. grated lemon zest + 2 T. juice from 1-2 lemons
2 t. dried lavender (optional, but then they’d just be lemon cookies)
1¾ c. flour
¼ t. baking powder
¼ t. salt
12 T. (1½ sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½” cubes
1 egg yolk
½ t. vanilla extract
1) In a food processor (Click here for instructions on how to make the cookies by hand or with a stand mixer), process the sugar, lemon zest and lavender until the sugar looks damp and the zest and lavender are fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt, then add to the sugar mixture; pulse to combine, about 10 1-second pulses.
2) Scatter the butter pieces over and pulse until the mixture resembles fine cornmeal, about 15 1-second pulses. In a measuring cup, beat together the lemon juice, egg yolk and vanilla. With the machine running, add the juice mixture in a slow stream (should take about 10 seconds) and continue processing until the dough forms into a ball, 10 to 15 seconds longer.
4) Turn the dough and any dry bits onto a clean work surface and gently gather into a ball. Working quickly, roll the dough into a cylinder about 12″ long and 1½” in diameter. Center the dough on a piece of parchment or plastic wrap and wrap tightly, twisting the ends together to seal. Chill the dough until firm and cold, about 45 minutes in the freezer or 2 hours in the refrigerator.
5) Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
6) Remove the dough log from its wrapper and use a sharp knife to slice the dough into 3/8″ thick rounds. Place the rounds on the prepared baking sheets, spacing them 1″ apart. Bake until the centers of the cookies just begin to color and the edges are golden brown, about 10-12 minutes (the recipe actually says 14-16 minutes, but 10 minutes was plenty for me and my wonky oven), rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time. Cool on sheets about 5 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.