We’ve all had them. We all wish we didn’t. But these things are inevitable. I’m talking about really crappy days. The kind that makes your eyes sting and your shoulders sag. I had one of those days today. No need to go into the details. Suffice to say I needed a pick-me-up. In my arsenal for such days are several things, but the top three are usually sweets, my cat and the smell of lavender in candle, lotion, shampoo, or spray form.
Wouldn’t you know, I found a way to combine all three into the funkiest of crappy-day remedies…Lavender Heart Cookies. Okay, before you all start wondering where the cat fits into this recipe (heart?!?!), her name is Lavender. That’s how much I love this soothing herb. She also contributed to this post by purring at my feet and licking my ankles.
I had this recipe on my mind for some time. The cookbook it’s from is one of those bargain buys at Barnes & Nobel that I picked up and flipped through the pages on a whim. This recipe and another for madeleines prompted me to buy (that and the great photos with every recipe, which I find invaluable, so much so that I’ve vowed to stop buying cookbooks without them…but that’s another post for another time).
I’ve been eagerly watching the lavender plants bloom at the farm, waiting for the very first opportunity to get the couple tablespoons of flowers I needed to make these cookies. I had planted some of my own at home but, alas, I don’t have the sun to support these fragrant lovelies. The flavor of lavender is very similar to the scent… in other words, if you like the smell, you’ll like these cookies. If you don’t like the smell, don’t make these cookies.
Three cookies eaten, a silky cat stroked and one blog entry later, I’m already feeling better.
LAVENDER HEART COOKIES
Adapted from The Cook’s Encyclopedia to Cookies, Biscuits and Bars
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 T. fresh lavender flowers or 1 T. dried culinary lavender
1/2 t. cinnamon
2 T. superfine sugar for sprinkling
Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Roughly chop the lavender to release its oils and stir into the flour along with the cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to wet and bring mixture together in a soft ball – it takes a little work but it’ll work. Wrap dough ball in plastic and chill for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Roll out the dough between two pieces of wax paper until about an 1/8th inch thick. The dough will be a little difficult to roll out but it’s easy to work with once it is. Stamp out cookies with heart cookie cutter or other shape. Place on cookie sheet either lined with parchment paper or sprayed.
Bake 8-10 minutes until golden around the edges. Remove from oven and sprinkle with superfine sugar while still hot (this is why it’s best to use parchment paper for easy clean up) and let stand for 5 minutes before eating. Store for up to a week in an air tight container.
(makes 2 dozen cookies, depending on size)