Sweet as Flowers: How to Make Lavender Shortbread

lavender shortbreadlavender shortbreadShortbread isn't strictly reserved for the holiday season; simple and buttery, it's a great cookie to pull into service for any number of occasions. It also takes on flavors well - anything from citrus zest to chocolate can be added to a basic shortbread recipe. If you're looking for something a little different, reminiscent of spring, dried lavender is perfect in shortbread, adding a distinct floral flavor to the simple, crisp, melt-in-your-mouth cookie.

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1-3 tsp. food grade lavender pinch salt

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Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until pale and creamy. Add the flour, lavender and salt and beat on low or stir until you have a soft dough. Press the dough into an ungreased 8 or 9-inch round pan and poke a few times with a fork. If you like, press down around the edges with the tines of a fork. Bake for 15 minutes, or until pale golden. Cool for 10 minutes, then slice while still warm. Makes 16 wedges.

- By Julie Van Rosendaal
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