It’s that time of year again: Lavender is budding and blooming in the lower elevations, and preparing to burst forth in the foothills. The bees are delirious with joy and drunk with pollen.
It’s time for the aromatherapy class I teach to take their field trip to The Lavender Farm in Lincoln next month, or perhaps at the beginning of July, depending upon when plants are in full bloom and distillation of essential oils begins. I’d love for them to witness a lavender distillation (especially Lavandula angustifolia, also known as English lavender). Lesa Hertel, of The Lavender Farm, will demonstrate distillation techniques, teach us how to make wreaths and wands, and tell us the history of her farm.
Shh! Here’s a secret recipe for Lavender Shortbread Cookies. I am baking some today to take to this Wednesday’s Aromatherapy certification class at Sutter Downtown Hospital in Sacramento, CA. (We are studying Essential Oil Safety this month.) Unless they read this blog, or unless you spill the beans, it should be a nice little surprise treat. Here’s the recipe for you to try:
Honey Lavender Shortbread
Makes 30 cookies
2 cups all-purpose flour (or unbleached white)
¾ tsp salt (sea salt)
½ tsp baking powder
1 TBsp dried or fresh lavender buds
6 oz unsalted butter (organic), softened
2 TBsp honey
½ cup confectioner’s sugar (organic)
1. Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and lavender in a medium bowl.
2. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter, honey, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
3. Spoon dough out onto a large rectangle of parchment paper to form a log. Transfer dough to refrigerator and chill until firm, about 1-2 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the log of dough into ½ inch slices. Place the slices on sheet, spacing them about 2 inches apart, and bake 8 minutes, or until light golden brown.
The recipe is from www.seriouseats.com/recipes . The author obtained it from chef Tina Casaceli at Milk and Cookies Bakery in West Village, Manhattan. (Suggestions in parentheses in the recipe are mine.)
Another way to enjoy lavender: