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Thursday, April 30, 2015

a cookie takes a walk through a garden

Lavender Shortbread Cookie with Hibiscus Glaze and Edible Flowers

Years ago, I found a great book on everything lavender. How to plant it, harvest it, craft with it , and cook with it.
I love the way lavender smells and the way it calms me. Why not put it in a cookie??
The book's author, Tessa Evelegh produced an amazing book filled with great ideas and recipes.
 The book is simply called, Lavender.

Lavender Shortbread 
1/2 cup of unsalted butter, the best you can buy....softened
1/4 cup of superfine sugar, sometimes called caster sugar
1-1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of dried lavender florets or culinary lavender
(the florets are the flowers in bloom, and culinary lavender is found easily at
 health food stores. Be sure any lavender used is pesticide free)
sanding sugar for sprinkling, chocolate or sugar glaze

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy, stir in the flour and lavender until a dough ball forms.
 You may need to use your hands and knead on a lightly floured surface. Chill for 15 minutes.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F, and place parchment paper onto a cookie sheet.
Roll chilled dough out on a very lightly floured surface. You want to use as little flour as
 possible so that the cookies stay tender and crisp. Roll about 1/4 to 3/8 inches thick, 
depending on desired thickness, with a cookie cutter of choice.
Bake about 8 minutes, a little longer if your cookies are thicker. 
They should be set and a hint of brown on the bottoms,
 Remember to sprinkle with sugar before baking, or glaze when the cookies cool.

Makes about one dozen cookies

Hibiscus Sugar Glaze
Recently I picked up Hibiscus powder in the spice aisle, while visiting the farmers market at the Ferry Building in San Francisco and was very excited to try it out. Knowing of its tartness, I knew I could pair it with many things, especially cookies! The one I purchased is from Whole Spice, Napa Valley

1 cup powdered confectioners sugar
1/4 tsp of hibiscus powder
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp merangue powder
about 2-3 tablespoons of milk

mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and add vanilla. beat slowly till combined, adding one tablspoon of milk at a time until desired consistancy. Have edible flowers, sprinkles and decorations ready to go, as the glaze sets up quickly. Glaze a few cookies at a time and add decorations. Allow glaze to set, about 20 minutes.

Edible Flowers
There are SO many flowers that a person can actually eat. The internet is full of sites on which ones you can. My local grocery store carries them in the organic produce section where you find the fresh herbs. You can also sugar and candy flowers for cookies and cakes as well.

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