The holidays are fast approaching and baking is something I love to do around this time of year. While these super easy truffles are my holiday specialty, this year I whipped up these amazing shortbread cookies and I think they’ll be an absolute staple in my house. Sahadi’s, a specialty grocery destination in Brooklyn, now serves its customers nationwide with its online store, sent me a few ingredients to experiment with and the result was wonderful! SN: Sahadi’s was the 2017 recipient of the James Beard American Classic Award! AND on Cyber Monday, Sahadi’s is offering free shipping on all orders over $25 with code: cybersahadi17.
I’ve never worked with dried lavender and chamomile, two of the ingredients they sent over, but I knew I’d at least benefit from the calming smells during the holiday season. This shortbread cookie involves letting the lavender and chamomile steep in butter for 15-20 minutes and I wish I could share the smell with you through this blog post. I went from 0 to calm in seconds and who doesn’t want that during this time of year??
I kid you not when I say I may just steep these dried ingredients for the sake of having my house smell this good.
These cookies are a great option for a host/hostess gift during the holidays, to break up the intensity of all the decadent holiday desserts or to serve yourself with tea before having a big group over. They’re light and you can really taste the potency of the dried lavender and chamomile.
Lavender and Chamomile Shortbread Cookies
For the Cookies
1 cup Chamomile dried flowers (I got them online from Sahadi’s)
3 teaspoons dried lavender lavender seeds (also got these online from Sahadi’s)
1 lb of butter
2/3 cup cane sugar
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract (online from Sahadi’s)
½ cup milk
¼ teaspoon salt
For the Glaze
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1. In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Once melted, turn the heat off and stir in chamomile and lavender. Let the mixture steep in the butter until it reaches room temperature – about 15 minutes.
2. Strain the butter mixture into a large measuring cup over a very fine mesh strainer. Use a spoon to press butter out of the leaves until you have 1 cup of strained melted butter. Refrigerate the mixture for 20 to 30 minutes until the butter resets (like the consistency of room temperature butter).
3. When the butter has re-solidified, cream it together with the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed until light and fluffy – about 5 minutes.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.
5. Turn the mixer speed to low and add the vanilla and almond extracts. Then slowly add the dry ingredients until all incorporated.
6. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
8. When the dough has chilled, uncover and place on a floured surface. Dust your rolling pin in flour and roll the dough out to a ½-inch thick sheet. Lightly dust your cookie cutter with flour and cut as many cookies as you can. Don’t be concerned if the dough starts to crumble. You can reshape the unused dough. Place them on the baking sheet at least 1 inch apart.
9. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges are slightly brown. Remove the baking sheet to a cooling rack. Let cookies cook for about 2 minutes on the baking sheet then transfer them to the rack to finish cooling.
For the Glaze
1. While the cookies are cooling, whisk together the powdered sugar and agave nectar. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time to reach desired consistency. Drizzle over cooled cookies.