Are you a fan of classic shortbread? These lavender shortbread cookies are very easy to make because all you have to do is press the dough into a pan to bake them! No dough rolling or rolling pins required! This twist on the classic shortbread recipe is made with only a few ingredients.
Classic shortbread cookies
I feel like a lot of us don’t know what shortbread cookies are and sometimes we use the word shortbread incorrectly to name other types cookies. Here’s what you need to know about shortbread.
What are shortbread cookies?
Shortbread are traditionally made from only three (3) ingredients: butter, sugar and flour. Some shortbread aficionados won’t even add salt. I do. Recent variations include adding an egg or two to the recipe, leading to a sturdier cookie, or even a little milk. Again, purists will argue that it’s not a shortbread cookie if it contains eggs or milk. The ratio of the three main ingredients is the key to good shortbread. Most good recipes follow a 1-2-3 shortbread cookie ratio of ingredients, meaning 1 part sugar, 2 parts butter, 3 parts flour, by weight. I’ve had a lot of success with this shortbread ratio, which yields what I believe to be the best shortbread cookies. To learn more about ratios, I highly recommend reading the book Ratio by Michael Ruhlman (get it on Amazon).
Why do they call them shortbread?
Shortbread are rich and buttery. And it’s funny to think that the shorter the shortbread, the higher the butter content. Seems contradictory to me. However, according to the Oxford Dictionary, short actually refers to a high proportion of fat resulting in crumbliness of a pastry. So, the shorter the cookie, the more crumbly it is, and the more crumbly it is, the more butter it contains. The amount of butter in a recipe is therefore crucial: a little “too much” and you may end up with cookies that, although sublimely buttery, just fall apart in your hands (if this happens, don’t panic! Crumbly shortbread may be difficult to store and serve, but they are still highly edible. Or better yet, crumble over ice cream—nobody will complain!).
Shortbread can be made with either granulated sugar or icing sugar
The type of sugar you use to make shortbread cookies has a huge impact on texture:
- Shortbread made with granulated sugar are more crisp and crunchy
- Shortbread made with icing sugar are more soft and tender
A note on baking with lavender
I added lavender to the classic shortbread cookies recipe. That’s entirely optional. I love lavender, but not everybody is a fan and that’s okay. Follow the recipe below but skip the lavender to make them plain if you prefer. Or you can try a different dried herb or spice. You can get really creative with this basic shortbread recipe, as long as you keep the ratio of ingredients intact. You can infuse lavender into liquids like water and milk just like tea to make panna cotta tarts or lavender chocolate truffles. You can also infuse honey with lavender to make homemade lavender honey.
Is lavender edible?
Though lavender is used to scent sachets of potpourri, the flower is actually edible. Besides being used to make rooms and clothes smell good, dried lavender is often added to baked goods, such as cupcakes and icings. Make sure to buy culinary lavender so you know it’s edible (and not laced with perfume). Culinary lavender is sold as blossoms usually and you will probably find culinary lavender in the loose leaf tea aisle or the spice aisle of many stores. The blossoms are tiny, their color, a vibrant blueish-purple. They have a very floral aroma, which carries through when you bake with it.
I scored the shortbread (or rather I sliced through to the bottom just to be sure), docked them with a fork and popped them into my preheated oven. I baked these shortbread cookie wedges at 350ºF. Some shortbread purists may argue that shortbread should be baked at a lower temperature to keep them from colouring in the oven. I like my shortbread a little golden around the edges. Adds flavour. After 5 minutes of cooling in the pan on a wire rack, I re-cut the shortbread along the lines and let them cool completely before unmolding the shortbread wedges. I then dipped the sides of each shortbread triangle in melted white chocolate and sprinkled a few dried lavender blossoms on each. This is entirely optional. I happen to love white chocolate.
The lavender truly comes through in this shortbread cookie recipe: floral, but not too floral, buttery, not too sweet. These shortbread have a crumbly, sandy texture, just the way a traditional shortbread should be.
Lavender shortbread cookies
This recipe is a fun lavender twist on the classic shortbread cookie and it's made in the easiest way possible! The dough is pressed into a scalloped edge tart pan and sliced into shortbread triangle wedges before baking for perfect shortbread cookies!
- 230 grams butter 1 cup
- 1 tbsp dried lavender make sure it's edible, culinary grade lavender and not potpourri!
- 100 grams granulated sugar 1/2 cup
- 250 grams all-purpose flour 2 cups
- 1/2 tsp fine kosher salt
- 150 grams melted white chocolate 1 cup
- Dried lavender for garnish
Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and lavender for 1 minute.
Add sugar and mix, scraping down sides of mixer as needed, until mixture is creamy.
- Add flour and salt, and mix on low until the dough is crumbly.
Pour crumbs into a 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom. Press with the bottom of a glass to form a firm, even layer.
Cut/score into 8 wedges.
Dock with a fork or metal skewer to poke holes through the shortbread cookie surface allowing steam to escape as the shortbread bake so that they dry out.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, rotating at least once to ensure that they bake evenly (keep an eye on them to make sure that they do not brown too much). The edges will be lightly golden.
- Remove from oven and let cool slightly before re-cutting along the scored lines.
- Let cool completely before removing the slices from the pans.
- Dip or brush each slice with melted chocolate. Sprinkle with a few lavender blossoms.
For this recipe, I used the 9-inch tart pan from this Wilton set that you can buy on Amazon.
Please note this post contains affiliate links to Amazon. If you buy a product I recommend, I will get a small commission, and the price you have to pay will not change in any way.