lavender shortbread {guest post!}

January 24, 2012
Hello lovely readers! My name is Leah and I am honored (and quite giddy) to be here today guest posting on Forgiving Martha. When Jess first asked me to share a recipe with all of you, I knew I wanted to bake something extra special. With a weekend of cold and rainy weather in my forecast it was the perfect opportunity to spend the afternoon in the kitchen doing just that! Today I am sharing a recipe for Lavender Shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and I have to say…I am in love with this cookie! 
Wait-a-minute, did you just say lavender in a cookie?  Oh, yes I did!  It turns out that lavender is actually an herb found in the mint family (who knew!) and it adds a lovely floral flavor to this classic cookie.  Dip these beauties in chocolate and you have got yourself one decadent dessert.  Now please excuse me while I brew up a cup of Earl Grey tea and enjoy a few of these babies! Leah 

Lavender Shortbread Cookies
adapted from Barefoot Contessa  
3 sticks (3/4 lb.) unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup granulated sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 heaping Tablespoon dried culinary lavender
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and 1 cup of sugar until just combined. Do not cream butter and sugar, as you don’t want to add air to this dough. Add the vanilla extract and mix. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour and salt, then add them to the butter-and-sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until the dough just comes together. Dump onto a surface dusted with flour, divide in half and shape into two flat disks. Wrap each disk separately in plastic and chill for 30 minutes. 
  3. Lightly flour you work surface and rolling pin and roll out the dough 1/2-inch thick. Choose your favorite cookie cutter and cut out cookies placing them on an ungreased baking sheet lined with either parchment or a silicone mat. Sprinkle cookies with sugar and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the edges are just golden. Cool to room temperature. 
  4. When the cookies are cool, place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 
  5. Place 3 ounces of the finely chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place it over a saucepan of simmering water. Once the chocolate has melted, remove it from the heat. Add the remaining chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until it has completely melted and is smooth and glossy. Taking one cookie at a time, dip one end of each cookie in the melted chocolate and place it on a parchment lined baking sheet. Once all the cookies have been dipped, place the baking sheets in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes, or until the chocolate has hardened. 
  6. Shortbread cookies keep in an airtight container for about a week but are best served same day! 
Notes: I used fresh dried lavender from my garden but you can purchase culinary lavender at specialty food stores or Williams Sonoma!
*Makes about 20 cookies