Well! I've decided to try baking every now and again, just to see if I can actually do
We have a lot of fresh herbs growing in our garden, and coupled with my recent distaste for over-sugary things, I wanted something different.
So, I dug through recipes online and, after finding many different ideas, settled on this one
, because it seemed easier (as I don't think I've ever
baked before, other than making those cookies where you just add water and throw into the oven!) and I really love lavender.
It was very easy! I halved the recipe, because I didn't know what I'd do with that much cookie dough (especially if it was a fail). So, the numbers in [ ] are what I did, to get a plate full of cookies!
- 1½ cups butter, softened
[¾ cup butter, softened; or, 1½ 8T sticks]
- ⅔ cup white sugar
[ ⅓ cup white sugar]
- ¼ cup sifted confectioners sugar
[⅛ cup, confectioners sugar is the same (pretty much) as fine baking sugar]
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lavender
[1T fresh lavender, use just the flowers, please - the stems and leaves are bitter. If you don't have fresh, you can use dried, but you may need to add more]
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves
[½T fresh mint, but if you like mint, add a little more... I didn't have enough, and can barely taste it ^^ even if you're not a fan of mint, tho, add it - it adds a nice compliment to the lavender!]
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
[½t lemon zest, if you want a bit more lemon flavor, add a bit of lemon juice to it, too~]
- 2½ cups all-purpose flower
- ½ cup cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon of salt
- In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and confectioners' sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the lavender, mint and lemon zest. Combine the flour, cornstarch and salt; mix into the batter until well blended. Divide dough into two balls, wrap in plastic wrap and flatten to about 1inch thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 1hour.
[Okay, seriously, let this harden. If you don't, you'll just get frustrated - I thought "oh, well, this was just in the fridge for 15 minutes, it feels cold, I can work with it!" and then it was just a gooey mess. Give it at least 30 minutes if you're doing the half directions (cuz the balls of dough are smaller) or the full hour if you are doing the full amount. It'll save you much annoyance, especially if you're like me and never bake...]
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Cookie stamps will work well on these too. Place on cookie sheets.
[I put parchment paper underneath the cookies, because for some reason it'll make the bottom brown nicely and be crisp... I have no idea why, I was just told to be sure to remember to do that, and I did, and they turned out fantastically!]
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, just until cookies begin to brown at the edges. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
[Be sure to kind of keep an eye on them - I almost over cooked them, because the edges really don't get too dark like I expected with regular cookies. So, give them a good 15 minutes, and if they start looking darker, then they're probably pretty good...]
First off, this was easy to do! Amazingly, right?
If you knew me, you'd know I don't cook. I can't. Well, I can make pasta, but that's about it. Beyond that, I'm usually fail. Except... these cookies turned out really well!
They were very crispy at first - like I said above, I almost over-cooked them to biscotti like hardness! And, at first, you couldn't really taste the lavender - I was really disappointed.
However... come the next day! They were more moist (I store cookies in the microwave for ease) after sitting and letting the butter in the cookies do it's thing. And, even more amazing to me, the lavender taste was really back! Like, what I expected it to be in the first place! Hooray!!
And, no matter what, they're absolutely perfect
tea cookies (I've been drinking so much
tea lately!) especially with a black tea like earl grey.
So, I guess I'd say that if you're going to make these cookies and eat them right away, add a bit more lavender to your dough. However, if you're just going to nibble on them for a couple of days, in the afternoon with tea or in the eve to relax, then the lavender flavor will strengthen up as it goes on!
And, as I've said before, if I can make these, anyone
Picture ©2010 Sam Lemieux