Soothing Hearts

July 13, 2007 at 3:40 pm 14 comments

lavender-flowers-2.jpg

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.

lavender-flowers-3.jpg ready-to-mix-lavender-cookies.jpg chilled-ball-of-cookie-dough.jpg

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).  

cutting-out-cookies.jpg raw-cookies-up-close.jpg

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 lavender-cookies.jpg

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)

laveder-cookies-sugared.jpg

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Feels Like Elementary School All Over Again 40 + 25 + 4 = One Great Ride

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Brooke  |  July 16, 2007 at 9:47 am

    I make lavender heart shortbread all the time! And I had a lavender point siamese cat when I was young and her name was lavender. Small world :)

    Reply
  • 2. Jennie  |  July 16, 2007 at 11:15 am

    That’s so funny, Brooke! It is indeed a small world. Perhaps we were twins seperated at birth? ;-)

    Reply
  • 3. Rachel  |  July 16, 2007 at 3:30 pm

    Question, do you use lavender that has opened buds or closed, the pics look like they’re closed or does it matter? Want to give this a try.

    Reply
  • 4. Rachel  |  July 16, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    Upon closer inspection of my lavender and reading some other sites on lavender I think i have it figured out—if there’s a flower, pull it out?? Is that right? Well, that’s what I did. But it takes a lot of lavender to get the 1 1/2 T, esp since this is my first year with it, so I used 1/2 T and made them into a roll to do slice and bake so 18 mo could help place them on the sheet. Just pulled them out of the oven, we’re doing our 5 min wait! They smell good! Thanks for opening up new uses for lavender-cooking.

    Reply
  • 5. Jennie  |  July 17, 2007 at 6:46 am

    Rachel – you’re always one step ahead of me. I should have thought to give more precise directions for the lavender flowers but now that you’ve listed them, I’ll let you be the expert. :) Actually, it doesn’t matter if the flowers are open or closed. Just be sure to remove them from the green parts. The ones I used were actually almost “dried” in that when I picked them, they had already closed up and were going to fall off. The weather was particulary hot last week so the flowers weren’t lasting terribly long. Did your cookies taste very lavender-y with just the 1/2 T? I like the no-fuss idea of creating a log and slicing the cookies instead.

    Reply
  • 6. Sea  |  July 18, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Cool- I’ve made lavender cookies as well- although mine were gluten free sugar cookies, they were delicious and really unique. :)
    -Seamaiden

    Reply
  • 7. Jennie  |  July 19, 2007 at 8:10 am

    Sea – what did you use instead of regular flour? I don’t know much about gluten free baking beside chocolate cake…

    Reply
  • 8. figswithbri  |  September 27, 2007 at 1:38 am

    What a beautiful idea. I especially like that the cookies have no eggs in the recipe, since half my household doesn’t eat eggs. I will definitely have to try them out. I think we are at the end of lavender season, so I better do it soon. Thanks for the inspiration and hope it helped your crappy day. :)

    Reply
  • 9. Jennie  |  September 27, 2007 at 6:19 am

    Bri – you’re becoming one of my most prolific commentors. I love it! :) Yes, they did help my crappy day, and yes, you should try them.

    Reply
  • 10. Madeline  |  September 27, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    These cookies look and sound wonderful. I’ve just had a death in my family and I think these would be perfect to bring to the ceremony. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply
  • 11. Jennie  |  September 27, 2007 at 7:06 pm

    I’m very sorry to hear about your loss, Madeline. Food and family are always a healing combination.

    Reply
  • 12. Hillary  |  September 28, 2007 at 1:14 pm

    What cute cookies! I could definitely see making these around valentine’s day, twisting it up from the abundance of sugar cookies.

    Reply
  • 13. Jennie  |  September 28, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    Yep, definitely a good V-day treat! Fresh lavender might be tough to get then (depending what hemisphere you’re in) but I think dried would work just fine too.

    Reply
  • 14. Blast From the Past « Straight from the Farm  |  June 7, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    [...] the flowers alluring, so much so that I named my cat Lavender.   I like tossing the fresh buds in cookies, herbal teas, and even ice cream.  And of course, the dried flowers make great sachets for dresser [...]

    Reply

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