Monday, January 22, 2007

Winter Interlude

Yesterday I finished my grading early and the kids were gone with Brian at the Plymouth Ice Carving Festival thingy, so I found myself with a little time on a cold day to sit in my favorite chair and read.

I'm in the thick of a wonderful book which deserves its own post: Irene Nemirovsky's Suite Francaise. And I decided that it would be even more enjoyable with a nice cup of tea and a couple of these lavender shortbread cookies.

Luckily, I had made the shortbread on Friday. If you need quick shortbread therapy, these are not the cookies to make; they need a couple of days for the lavender flavor to permeate the cookie. I ate one on Friday and thought it was just OK. But the two I had yesterday were perfect--each bite contained a whisper of lavender in the sandy, buttery cookie base.

If you know (or hope) you have an hour or two of leisure coming to you in a couple of days, make these shortbread in preparation and then guard them from the small people or animals or ravenous grown ups (I've taken to lying to my small people and tell them that anything I don't want them to eat is really spicy. So far they haven't caught on.)

Lavender Shortbread

1 C unsalted butter, softened
2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C sugar
1/2 t salt
1 T dried lavender buds

Beat the butter and sugar until creamy and well combined. Add the flour and salt and beat again until combined. Add the lavender and mix until they are spread pretty evenly through the dough.

Press the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and then chill until firm, about an hour.

Preheat the oven to 325. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface until it is about 1/4 " thick--thicker than you would for regular sugar cookies. Cut into whatever shape you want. Put on a silpat or parchment lined cookie sheet and bake until golden about 20 minutes.


Anonymous said...

Kate--I just started Suite Francaise (I think I've read to Chapter 3) and so far, it IS wonderful. I was afraid that I'd be disappointed--there's been so much talk about the book--but I can't wait to read more.

I owe you an email; mine's (still. sigh).

The shortbread looks lovely, too!

Edward Vielmetti said...

Just a note to any readers, make sure you use culinary lavender!

It reminds me of our lavender ice cream from a few years ago, Kate, in case you're in an ice cream making mood too:

LadyLinoleum said...

What a wonderful way to whittle away an afternoon. I may just try this recipe too. Sounds heavenly!