Topped with a generous amount of sparkling sugar, these Honey Lavender Shortbread Cookies are a unique addition to any holiday cookie platter!
Remember how I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that my wife and I recently piled in the car with one of our good friends for a quick whale watching weekend on the Massachusetts coast? Well, following our epic whale watching trip on Saturday afternoon, we ended up roaming around Salem, Mass. for several hours on Sunday morning before coming back home. Aside from witches, ghosts and other spooky things, Salem also has some pretty darned cool shops.
Oh, and Salem has a pretty darned cool bakery, too. We noticed this bakery had very high reviews on Yelp, and several people suggested their Honey Lavender Cookies. As soon as my wife heard lavender, she was hooked. We made our way over to the bakery for a mid-morning cookie snack. What? It was vacation. Mid-morning cookie snacks are totally allowed on vacation!
When we got back to town, I knew I wanted to try my hand at a similar style of cookie. I’ve been loving shortbread cookies lately, so I decided to whip up a batch of these Honey Lavender Shortbread Cookies. Let’s just say they didn’t last very long in our house!
What are your thoughts on lavender in baked goods? I used to be opposed to it as it brought a strange herbal taste to my desserts. But then I realized that I do indeed like lavender as a baking ingredient…I just need to use it sparingly. A little bit of lavender goes a long way. Honey is an excellent compliment to lavender so I brushed these cookies with a bit of honey syrup before they went into the oven.
But the real shining star of these cookies was the generous coating of sparkling sugar that I sprinkled on top. Have you ever wondered how bakeries make their cookies and other treats look so darned appetizing? Well, for starters, they make the cookies about twice the size of your hand. But they also use little tricks like sprinkling sparkling sugar on top of their cookies, muffins and other treats. Not only does the sugar make the finished product look awesome, but the slight crunch adds a whole new dimension to the texture.
The very top shelf of my baking cabinet is always stocked with sparkling sugar. I used to use sanding sugar, but my wife pointed out that the sugar was a bit too crunchy. Then I discovered Bob’s Red Mill’s sparkling sugar. And now that’s all I keep up there on that top shelf. Plus, I have several stores near me that carry Bob’s Red Mill products, so I can always swing by and pick up more when I run low. The holiday baking season is here, people…don’t run out of sparkling sugar!
I must admit that I’m a huge fan of these Honey Lavender Shortbread Cookies. Since we aren’t currently on vacation, there haven’t been any mid-morning cookie snacks. However, we have been up at all hours of the night with our new son, so midnight cookie snacks have most definitely been in effect. There may also have been some 3am, 4am and 5am cookie snacks, too. Just sayin’. Yup, in case you missed that, our son Robert (Robbie) arrived last week. Mom and baby are doing great, and we’re back home settling into our new routine. And I’m hoping that new routine involves some sleep sometime soon!
Have you ever used sparkling sugar on your holiday cookies?
Lavender in baked goods: “heck yeah!” -or- “no way!”?
Honey Lavender Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp dried lavender
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp hot water
- sparkling sugar
- Using a countertop mixer, cream together the butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy (3-4 minutes on medium speed).
- Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, flour and lavender. Mix on low speed until a stiff dough forms. Cover dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Roll the dough out to ~1/2” thickness. Cut cookies into 2"x2" squares and place on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Using a small fork, prick the tops of the cookies in several places.
- Place sheet pan in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a small dish, whisk the honey and hot water together until well combined. Brush this mixture across the tops of the cookies. Sprinkle the top of each cookie generously with sparkling sugar.
- Bake at 325°F for 26-28 minutes, or until edges of cookies turn light brown.
- Let cool for 5 minutes and then sprinkle baked cookies generously with additional sparkling sugar. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack until completely cool.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bob’s Red Mill.
The opinions and recipe are all my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Spiced!