It is with absolutely no hyperbole that I say this recipe is one of the best things I’ve ever made that wasn’t a cupcake. I got some culinary lavender in my Christmas stocking and realized I had no idea what to do with it. After some cursory Googling to find out what flavors go well with lavender, my initial decision was to go with a cupcake. I thought it might be fun to go a little out of my comfort zone with the recipe instead, and I AM SO HAPPY I DID OH MAN YOU GUYS.
Lemon shortbread cookies are good, but usually nothing to write home about. The glaze is really what takes these to the next level – I was interested to see how the lavender would work out since my main experience with it is as a sleepy time sheet spray, and I was not disappointed in the least bit. The glaze is tart but floral with sweetness from the powdered sugar and just…trust me on this one. Do I ever lead you astray?
Lemon Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Lavender Glaze
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar, packed and leveled
- 2 (packed) tsp grated lemon peel
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour, packed and leveled
- 1/8 tsp kosher salt
- cookie cutter 2 – 2 1/2 inches in diameter in the shape of your choosing (I used a star!)
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 1/2 tsp culinary lavender (no, lavender essential oil will not suffice as a substitute)
- 3/4 cup to 1 cup powdered sugar
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Place your oven racks in the top third and bottom third of the oven.
- Combine powdered sugar and butter in a mixing bowl until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl to fully combine
- Add lemon zest and vanilla, beat until smooth
- Add flour and kosher salt to mixing bowl, and beat until just combined – the dough will have a more crumbly look than normal cookie dough
- Lay plastic wrap on your work surface and transfer the dough from your mixing bowl to the plastic wrap. With clean hands, form the dough into a disc shape and cover with an additional piece of plastic wrap
- Roll the dough until it is 1/4 inch thick, and place on a separate cookie sheet. Let it chill in the fridge for 10 minutes, or freezer for 5
- While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F
- Take the dough out of the fridge/freezer and put it back on your work space. Using your cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place them on prepared cookie sheets roughly 1 or 1 1/2 inches apart.
- As you cut out the cookies, combine the scraps back together and re-roll them with plastic wrap on top to prevent the dough from sticking. Repeat as needed until you have between 12-16 cookies, depending on your cookie cutter.
- Place cookies back in the fridge/freezer for an additional 10/5 minutes, respectively.
- After they have chilled again, bake both cookie sheets for 15 minutes or until light brown on the bottom and just starting to brown around the edges. Be sure to rotate them halfway through baking, and if some of your cookies are thinner than the others you may have to pull them out sooner.
- After the cookies are done, immediately place them on a cooling rack
- While the cookies are cooling, microwave the lemon juice for 45 seconds. Pour lemon zest and lavender into the hot lemon juice, and let steep for 20 minutes.
- After the mixture has steeped, run it through a strainer to remove the solids
- Add the powdered sugar to the liquid and whisk until no lumps are visible. You can add anywhere between 1/2 and 1 cup of powdered sugar depending on the consistency you want – I found 3/4 cup to be perfect as it was almost like a royal icing, but it’s up to you!
- Using an offset spatula, piping bag, or even just a whisk to drizzle, ice the cookies once they are fully cooled. The glaze will set fairly quickly, so keep it in mind while icing.
- The cookies will keep for about a week, but if you’re anything like me you’ll probably eat them all before it gets to that point :).
And there you have it! While there are a lot of steps, it is an easy recipe to work with and only seems like it’s hard. I want to put this glaze on absolutely EVERYTHING, and Mike asked to eat it with a spoon after I was done decorating. Joke’s on him, I ate it anyway before he asked.