Lavender, lemon zest and vanilla shortbread

Last week I went to Columbia Road flower market and bought this lavender from one of the stalls, which had it all stacked up in an electric blue mound. This shortbread is quite unique tasting as it’s very floral and delicate. Fresh lavender has a very strong scent, so don’t be tempted to add more than the recipe states, or else you run the risk of producing something that tastes more like soap than a biscuit.

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Ingredients:
100g butter, room temp
50g icing sugar
1 tsp fresh lavender
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
0.5 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
100g plain flour
50g corn flour

Method:

  1.  Cream together the butter and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the lemon zest, vanilla and lavender and mix again.
  2. Finally, add the two types of flour, the salt and mix again.
  3. Once combined, bring the dough together into a ball and place on a dusted board to shape into a cylinder.
  4. I find my shortbread a bit crumbly at this point, so it is often easier to form a rough cylinder, place the dough on a strip of clingfilm, and then shape it further as you tightly wrap the dough in the clingfilm.
  5. At this point you want to preheat the over to 160C/150C fan, and place the dough in the fridge for about 20 minutes, till it firms up.
  6. Remove the dough from the fridge and slice it into rounds of about half-centimetre thickness. Place the shortbread rounds on a baking sheet and bake for about 20-30 minutes, until a light golden colour forms at the edges (you can lift one up to check it’s base is not doughy).
  7. Transfer to a wire rack, to allow them to cool and crisp-up.

Makes about 15, 4cm diameter shortbreads

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