A massive welcome to the Linden and Lavender baking blog! This blog was inspired over years of baking and sharing and exploring. The influence of nature and the seasons is always present in baking. From the first bud on the maple tree in spring to the warm colours and flavours that are associated with autumn, it is natural and beneficial to be influenced by the ingredients that are seasonally available. To chose ingredients that spark memories and create traditions.
The linden tree and lavender plant, are both edible. But more than that, they both invoke a sense of beauty in their resilience and fragrance. Their seasonality exposes their fragility making us live in the moment, to experience them before their blooms have ended, before the frost has stopped their growth.
"Wandering high in the mountains above the little village of Moustiers, near the Gorges du Verdon, I came upon fields of purple lavender, carpeting the hillsides and filling the air with a sweet scent. That experience sparked my passion to learn all there is to know about this magical herb"
- Sharon Shipley, The Lavender Cookbook, p. 12
It only seems fitting that my first post should include a lavender recipe. Shortbread are easy to make and the perfect gift. Unlike drop cookies, shortbread have a longer shelf life (if stored in an airtight container). The addition of lavender to this recipe changes it from a winter classic to a floral, summer favourite. I adapted my recipe from the brilliant, Kitchen Garden Cookbook by Carina Contini.
Lavender Shortbread Recipe
200g unsalted butter, room temperature and cubed
125g caster sugar
300g all purpose flour
1/2 tsp fine grained kosher salt
2-3 tsp finely chopped lavender (to taste)
1. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
2. Cream the butter and sugar using a handheld mixer or stand mixer (paddle attachment) until light and fluffy. You may need to scrap down the sides of the bowl.
3. Sift the flour, cornstarch and salt together. Fold into the butter mixture.
4. Fold in lavender.
5. Shape into a disc and wrap in saran wrap or place in a small, sealed container. Rest in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
6. Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
7. Lightly flour your work space and roll the dough to a 5mm thickness. Cut with desired cookie cutter.
8. Place on a lined baking tray and bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.
9. Sprinkle with caster sugar immediately after taking them out of the oven. Let cool on a wire rack.
Best served with a pot of herbal tea in the afternoon.
Notes: shortbread can be stored in an airtight container for up to a month.