What to bake this weekend: Lavender shortbread
These scrumptious lavender shortbread biscuits are the perfect way to welcome visitors for a Sunday catch up over a cup of tea.
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 it 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).
Holly Farrell’s lavender shortbread
Makes about 36 biscuits
You will need:
1 or 2 – baking sheets, lined with baking paper
- 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
- 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 26cm.
- 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.
Serve as part of an afternoon tea, or for elevenses. This lavender shortbread will keep for up to a month in an airtight tin.
Extracted from Grow Your Own Cake: Recipes from Plot to Plate by Holly Farrell (Frances Lincoln), out now.
Photograph by Jason Ingram. For more, visit quartoknows.com