Lavender Butter Cookies /

Lavender Butter Cookies

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These easy-to-make, easy-to-love cookies are inspired by a day of wine tasting, including the lavender-licious Matanzas Creek Winery. After I shape the dough into two logs, I usually freeze one of them. That way, a second batch is even easier to make – just thaw, cut, and bake.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender flowers (see note below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, lavender, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, beating until smooth. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, stirring until just combined.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it in half. Shape each half into a log, about 1 3/4 inches in diameter and 8 inches long. Wrap the logs plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. (You can refrigerate the logs as long as overnight, or freeze them for up to several months. Thaw, if necessary, before proceeding.) (For the cookies in the photo, I squared off the log, for square-ish cookies.)

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line baking sheets with parchment.

Cut the logs into 3/8-inch slices. Arrange the slices on the prepared baking sheets, about 1/2-inch apart. Bake until just beginning to turn golden at the edges, 11 to 13 minutes. Place the baking sheets to a cooling rack and cool thoroughly before decorating with royal icing (recipe below), if you like. (For the cookies in the photo, I also sprinkled on some silver decorating dust.)

NOTE Dried lavender flowers are available at specialty food stores and in the bulk dried herbs and flowers section at many natural food stores. Besides using them in this recipe, you can sprinkle them into other baked goods and over roasting poultry. You can also mix them into a dried herb blend called herbes de Provence.

Royal Icing
This icing is purposefully thin enough to drizzle. If you want stiffer icing, use 1 1/2 to 2 cups of sugar.

Makes about 3/4 cup

1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 large egg white (see note below)
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Food coloring (optional)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, egg white, and lemon juice on slow speed, mixing until thick and smooth. (You can also use a medium mixing bowl and a whisk.)

Color icing as desired. Use a pastry bag or a resealable bag with a corner snipped off to drizzle icing over cookies.

NOTE If you're concerned about using raw egg whites, substitute with the equivalent amount of dried egg whites and water.

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