Culinary Aromatherapy

Lavender

Summer is a great time to cook with Lavender, bringing the beautiful aroma inside. Despite Lavender being synonymous with Provence (France), it is ‘English Lavender,’ varieties of ‘angustifolia,’ that are best for culinary use as the flavor is more mellow. English Lavender has been used traditionally for culinary purposes, aromatherapy applications, and for centuries, as an herbal remedy, for both its relaxing and uplifting qualities. Lavender has an ‘androgynous’ aroma and flavor, it is both savory and sweet, with a distinct herbal edge.

Lavender_02

The delicate flavor of Lavender flowers gives this Lavender Shortbread Cookie recipe a particularly grown-up taste. Fun and fancy! These are so delicious and have the perfect combination of sweetness and Lavender, with a hint of Lemon -mild, somewhat exotic flavor. Being shortbread, they will fall apart easily when taking them off the baking sheet, so be careful. Depending how thick you make them, the recipe makes anywhere from 2-4 dozen. You can experiment by making some thin and round and others thicker and rectangular. Either way, you’ll love them, and will want to share! Perfect for fragrant & sweet Summer garden gifting.

Ingredients

  • 3 sticks of Earth Balance (non dairy butter) room temperature, or 1 cup coconut oil
  • 2 1/2 cups baking flour or oat flour
  • 2/3 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3-5 Tbsp finely chopped fresh organic lavender buds
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1-2 tsp rosewater
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions

1. In a medium-size bowl, cream butter, granulated sugar, and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Add lavender and lemon zest. Stir to combine.

2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, and salt. When thoroughly mixed, add to the wet batter, then add the rosewater, and stir until well blended. You should have a thick cookie batter. Divide dough into 2 balls, wrap in plastic wrap, and flatten to about 1 inch. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

3. When ready to prepare the cookies, preheat oven to 325 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into shapes and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minutes (less if thinner) or until the cookies begin to brown at the edges. Remove from the oven, cool for a few minutes on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Chamomile

A fabulous Lavender shortbread deserves to be served with a proper cup of aromatic tea. An organic herbal blend of beautiful and fragrant Chamomile and Lavender flowers with soothing Lemon Balm, makes for a complementary synergy. What could be better? Settles your nervous system and relaxes your digestive system as well. If you prefer to leave the Tao of Tea to the masters, Traditional Medicinals makes high-quality organic herbal teas, including my personal favorite Chamomile with Lavender Tea. Pioneers in the wellness tea category that continue to lead the way.

Garden Note & Tips

When cooking with Lavender it is key to ensure using culinary/edible Lavender and not Lavender prepared for things like potpourri which can be treated with chemicals. Culinary Lavender may be purchased at well stocked grocery stores, herb/spice stores or apothecaries, as well as grown in a pot or home garden for picking anytime. With a small amount added to many recipes, a ho-hum dish or cup of tea can be elevated to having international flair!