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.
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Baking with lavender
I added lavender to the classic shortbread ratio. 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, or even tea!
You can get really creative with this basic shortbread recipe, as long as you keep the ratio of ingredients intact.
Is lavender edible?
Though lavender is used to scent sachets of potpourri, the flower buds are actually edible. Besides being used to make rooms and clothes smell good, dried lavender is often added to tea blends, and also 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). You can find culinary grade lavender buds on Amazon.
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 colour, a vibrant blueish-purple. They have a very floral aroma, which carries through when you bake with it.
If you add lavender to cookies, it will impart a floral aroma (flavour and scent) to the cookies. Make sure to use the right amount. Too much lavender may go from a lovely floral flavour in baked goods to soapy if you are too heavy-handed.
What can you bake with lavender?
- add a little lavender to a classic shortbread cookie ratio to make lavender shortbread cookies (recipe below)
- infuse honey with lavender buds and make lavender honey cakes
- add dry lavender to vanilla sablé cookies
- infuse milk with lavender to make panna cotta, just like you would tea in Earl grey panna cotta tarts
- add lavender buds to cakes and frosting in the same way tea is added to an Earl Grey cake
- infuse cream with lavender to make lavender chocolate truffles.
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.
These lavender shortbread are much easier to make than shortbread cookies with jam, but equally satisfying and just as stunning because the shortbread wedges are dipped in chocolate!
Lavender shortbread cookies dipped in white chocolate
- 230 grams (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp (1 tbsp) dried lavender make sure it's edible, culinary grade lavender and not potpourri!
- 100 grams (½ cup) granulated sugar
- 250 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp (1/2 tsp) fine kosher salt
- 150 grams (1 cup) melted white chocolate
- 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.
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Janice Lawandi is chemist-turned-baker, working as a recipe developer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. She studied pastry at Le Cordon Bleu in Ottawa and cooking at l’Académie Culinaire. She has a BSc in Biochemistry from Concordia University and a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University. Visit janicelawandi.com to see my portfolio.