Vanilla Orange Lavender Shortbread Cookies

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June 5, 2013 by Natasha

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VanillaOrangeLav_07Hi there! It’s been a while since I had a proper kitchen where I could experiment with baking given that I have been moving alot quite recently. Now that I have graduated from University, I have a kitchen again and  I have been using it!

Okay, I LOVE the scent of lavender. It is absolutely calming and so rich. I purchased some while in New York and was too timid to try to cook with it in case I failed miserably. After getting over that fear, I baked a lavender pudding cake and then wanted to explore lavender in cookie form. I had never made shortbread cookies before and thought I would give it a try. What was the end result?

Vanilla Orange Lavender Shortbread Cookies
(Ooo and they are Diabetic Friendly!)

—– Ingredients: —–VanillaOrangeLav_06
(Makes about 12-18, depending on your cookie size)
1 cup unsalted margarine (at room temperature)
2 cup Splenda or other sweetener, if you use sugar you may want less.
3 tablespoons of ground dried orange rind*
2 teaspoons of orange juice*
1 teaspoon of dried lavender buds,** finely chopped or ground
4 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cup all-purpose sifted flour
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 tsp of baking powder
A pinch of salt

*I would have preferred to use use orange zest. It would be much more flavorful! If you do use zest, use the zest from 1 – 1 and 1/2 oranges.
** Make sure you are using culinary lavender. I purchased mine from Target in the spice section. You don’t want to use lavender that has been coated with non-edible chemical!

—– Directions —–

  1. Line 1 to 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. I used silicon baking sheets sprayed with Pam for Baking.
  2. In a food processor, add 3/4 of the orange rind, all of the lavender buds and 1/4 cup of Splenda or other sweetener and process until finely ground.
  3. In a large bowl, add the margarine, ground lavender and orange mixture, baking powder, remaining Splenda, vanilla extract, and orange juice* and cream together until smooth.*If you are using zest, you do not need the orange juice unless you want more flavor. 🙂
  4. Add sifted flour to mixture in small batches and mix together. You can use a hand mixer for this, but I like working with a wooden spoon. Continue adding flour until a dough is formed. The mix will begin looking sandy but should mush together when pressed.(I know, I know mush is a good word).
  5. In a small bowl, combine the remaining orange rind (or zest) and the granulated sugar. Rub together until well mixed.

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—– Shaping the Cookies —–

  1. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 thickness.
  2. Sprinkle some (1/2 or so) of the orange sugar mixture on top and roll lightly to press it into the dough. You will use the extra orange sugar mixture for when you re-shape and re-cut the dough.
  3. Cut your desired shapes from the dough and transfer to one of the prepared cookie sheets. I used a spatula to do this since the cookies are fragile in this state.
  4. Repeat “Shaping the Cookies” steps 1-3 until all of the shortbread dough has been used.
  5. Put cookie sheets in refrigerator for 20 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

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—– Baking Your Cookies —–

  1. Bake cookies for for 8-10 minutes. Rearrange them so the pan on the bottom rack moves to the top and vice versa and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
  2. After that time has passed, remove the cookies on the top rack from the oven and place them on a cooling rack. Move the cookies from the bottom rack to the top and bake for 2 more minutes.
  3. When the time is up, remove them and cool the pan as well.
  4. Now, you do not want to remove the cookies from the cooling pan until they have cooled completely. (They will fall apart in your hands, if you don’t wait! Patience is a virtue.)
  5. When the cookies cool, enjoy your shortbread! This is always a fun part. I ate one with a cold glass of milk and it was awesome!!

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If you do make these, let me know what you think! I have plenty of other cookies I have tried perhaps I can share them with you as well. 🙂

Until later my friends, be strong and let your spirt flow.

 

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