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lavender fleur de sel shortbread

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Long time no posts. I’m sorry I’ve been gone for so long. I’ve been busy with a couple projects and my computer started to die and fall apart on me. I would open my laptop and screws would fall out. Well, I am happy to report I have a new and faster computer, so posting is now a lot easier for me.

A couple of months ago I came across the cookbook Salty Sweets by Christie Matheson at the library. I brought it home and renewed it until I couldn’t anymore. I loved this book so much I intend to purchase it. The concept is how to incorporate various types of salt into your sweets. There are recipes ranging from salted caramels, cakes and ice creams. I made the lavender fleur de sel shortbread cookies as a thank you gift and not only were they incredibly easy, but they were incredibly delicious.

I’ve never used lavender in anything before and I was skeptical at first, but it brought such a sweet and fragrant flavor to these shortbread cookies. I bought the lavender buds loose in the spice aisle at my favorite store, Ballard Market. You should be able to find it wherever bulk spices are sold. There are two types of salt used in theses cookies; fine sea salt is used in the dough and then fleur de sel is used as a finishing salt when the cookies come out of the oven.

If you are unfamiliar with fleur de sel, it is french for “flower of salt”. It is harvested by hand in France and is generally used a finishing salt. It can be a little pricey so feel free to omit this step or use the fine sea salt again.

The recipe called for chilling the dough then rolling it out and cutting it into shapes. I tried that and it would not roll out for me, so I rolled the dough into log and sliced it into rounds.

I wasn’t sure how these cookies would be received, but they were gobbled up and I got a lot of requests for the recipe.

Lavender Fleur de Sel Shortbread
from Salty Sweets by Christie Matheson

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp chopped dried lavender blossoms
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
fleur de sel (optional)

Sift the flour and fine sea salt together in a small bowl. If your salt won’t go through the sifter, it’s fine to whisk together in a larger bowl. Set aside.

Combine the lavender and sugar and beat with the paddle attachment; if you are using a stand mixer, for about 20 seconds. Add the butter and mix to combine, then add the vanilla. (I had to scrape the butter off the paddle a couple of times.) Add the flour and mix on low-speed until a soft dough forms.

Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, shape into a log and refrigerate for 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice your dough log into 1/2 inch pieces and place on your baking sheet. Bake cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are starting to turn a golden brown. Sprinkle the cookies lightly with fleur de sel as soon as the come out of the oven. Let cool for five minutes and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Sunday, November 28, 2010 10:14 am

    You are right! I DO want to make these!

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