The holidays are over and, as always, I have mixed emotions. Beginning in October we rush through the holiday season…Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years… and before you know it, all the celebrating is done. Everyone goes home. No more parties. Gifts are all opened…and maybe already returned. We go back to eating normally, or we’re cutting way back to lose the weight we gained. And, on January 2 there is always a big sigh…back to normal, back to your routine. Then another week goes by and you remember we are looking forward to what can be a long, dull three months…at least in our part of the country.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. Sure, we have three more months of winter (at least we think so, who knows anymore). But we also have some holidays…Super Bowl Sunday, Fat Tuesday, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day…all good reasons to bake!
Here is a recipe that might be best for Valentine’s Day…or any Wednesday, for that matter. It uses edible lavender. I bought mine in a lavender shop in Stratford, Ontario. But you can likely find it at places like Whole Foods, “by the bulk” stores, or order it online. Google “Lavender stores in Stratford, Ontario” (sorry, I don’t recall the name, but it’s the only one in Stratford). These cookies have a fresh, unique flavor, and they are really easy. Try them…they will make you think that spring is really coming.
(Note: It’s hard to say how many cookies this recipe will make. I made a double batch and got about 3 dozen cookies. It all depends on whether you make them as cutout cookies or roll the dough into a log and slice it. I used a round 2 inch cutter. You can also use a cookie stamp to make a design related to whatever holiday or occasion you want.)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint leaves (I used ½ teaspoon mint extract since I didn’t have fresh mint.)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup corn starch
¼ teaspoon salt
In a medium bowl, cream together butter, white sugar, and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy.
Mix in the lavender, mint and lemon zest.
In another bowl, combine the flour, corn starch and salt; mix it into the sugar mixture until well blended.
Divide the dough into two balls, then wrap each in plastic wrap and flatten to about 1″ thick. (Or if you want to use the roll method, roll into logs, as mentioned above.) Refrigerate until firm…about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to ¼ inch thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Add decorative patterns with a cookie stamp if you want to, and place on cookie sheets. (Or as noted, if you are using the roll method, slice the rolls into ¼ inch slices and bake.)
Bake 18-20 minutes, just until the cookies begin to brown around the edges. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.