What To Cook This Weekend: Lavender Shortbread

Holly Farrell's Lavender Shortbread

Shortbread is one of the simplest biscuits to make. The key to keeping it short - that is, crumbly and not tough - is not to over-mix the dough or overwork it when rolling out. For a stronger lavender hit, use more lavender flowers or lavender sugar in place of the caster sugar (simply add a teaspoon or two of flowers to a jam jar of sugar, seal, shake and leave to infuse).

Makes about 36 biscuits

You will need

1 or 2 - baking sheets, lined with baking paper

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Ingredients
300g plain flour
100g caster sugar
2 tsp lavender flowers, finely chopped or ground
200g unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
1 tbsp semi-skimmed milk, if needed
1 tsp lavender flowers
1 tsp caster sugar, for dusting

Method

  • Sift the flour and sugar into a large bowl and stir in the lavender flowers. Add the butter and rub it into the mix by hand until it looks like breadcrumbs. Bring together into a single lump of dough, adding milk a drop or two at a time if necessary.
  • Wrap in baking paper and chill for 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 170?C/gas mark 3.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured surface to a rectangle about 0.8cm/1?3in thick. Trim the edges, then cut out finger biscuits of 2?6cm.
  • Transfer the biscuits to the baking sheet(s). Stud 4 lavender flowers in the top of each biscuit.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes until the shortbread is only very lightly coloured. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Dust with the sugar and leave to cool.

To serve

Serve as part of an afternoon tea, or for elevenses. This lavender shortbread will keep for up to a month in an airtight tin.

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Extracted from Grow Your Own Cake: Recipes from Plot to Plate by Holly Farrell (Frances Lincoln, approx €21.25), out now. Photograph by Jason Ingram. For more, visit quartoknows.com

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