Tag Archives: sugar cookies

Lavender-Vanilla Cookies

As we previewed on our Facebook page, we have been dabbling with new ingredients that Kitty brought from Williams-Sonoma’s Albany, NY Store (which is amazing, by the way): Tahitian Vanilla and dried French Lavender.

The first recipe I tried out are these lavender cookies which I made for my mother’s birthday earlier this month. This is a basic cookie dough with Tahitian Vanilla and dried French Lavender mixed into it. For the icing, instead of water I used lavender infused water.  I wanted a really subtle lavender color for the icing, so I added red and blue food coloring drop by drop until I got the hue I wanted.

When I was browsing around looking for recipes with lavender in them, I found out some really useful tips.  Dried lavender has a stronger taste than fresh lavender, therefore if a recipe calls for fresh lavender, use half of the amount (of dried lavender).

I was worried that my cookies would end up tasting like a floral kitchen cleaner, so I only added 1 tablespoon of dried lavender to my dough.  Feel free to use 2 or 2 1/2 tablespoons. The flavor is very subtle. The same goes for the icing.  I used only about a teaspoon to infuse 1/2 cup of water. I’ll definitely use more than that next time.

What I could definitely taste, was the Tahitian Vanilla.  See the tiny little dots  in the photograph of the baked cookies?  That’s the vanilla.  If you can get your hand on this, I definitely recommend it. Use is as you would use vanilla extract.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find lavender in Guatemala.  We have to rely on friends and/or family traveling to the USA and beg them to visit Williams-Sonoma or Whole Foods for our gourmet stash of spices, rubs and ingredients.  The good news is that new gourmet stores are opening their doors, hopefully they’ll stock up on varied and gourmet products like these.

Lavender-Vanilla Cookies

Lavender-Vanilla Cookies

A Foodies’ Kitchen Original Recipe
Yields: 18-20 medium sized cookies

Ingredients:
 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
1 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Tahitian Vanilla powder (or vanilla extract)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon chopped dried lavender

For the Lavender Icing:
2 cups confectioners’ (powdered or icing) sugar
3 tablespoons  meringue powder
1/2  water
1 teaspoon dried lavender

Cookies Procedure:

  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the chopped lavender, flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface to 1/2 an inch thick, at least. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter.
  3. Bake 11-13 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely. You’ll know they are done when they begin to turn golden brown in the edges.

Lavender Icing Procedure:

  1. In a small pot, bring 1/2 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of dried lavender to a boil. Let it boil for about 3 min.  Remove from the heat and let it steep for 5-8 minutes.  Strain and reserve the infused water.
  2. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the confectioners’ sugar and meringue powder until combined.  Measure your lavender infused water to 1/4 cup, add the water and beat on medium to high speed until very glossy and stiff peaks form (5 to 7 minutes).
  3. If necessary, to get the right consistency, add more powdered sugar or water. To cover or ‘flood’ the entire surface of the cookie with icing, the proper consistency is when you lift the beater, the ribbon of icing that falls back into the bowl remains on the surface of the icing for a few seconds before disappearing.

The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.

Separate your icing into as many bowls as you need, depending on what colors you want to use. Add the food coloring with a toothpick, a little bit goes a long way.

Lavender-Vanilla Cookies

Lavender-Vanilla Cookies

Lavender-Vanilla Cookies

Lavender-Vanilla Cookies

Lavender-Vanilla Cookies

Lavender-Vanilla Cookies

Lavender-Vanilla Cookies

Lavender-Vanilla Cookies

Lavender-Vanilla Cookies

Tequila Cookies

I made these cookies last year and loved the way they turned out. I adapted this recipe when I made it the first time, and I’ll tell you why. The original recipe calls for sea salt, but I didn’t have any, so I used granulated sugar for the coating. Also, I thought the tequila called in the original recipe was too little so I doubled it. These are the perfect to give as a gift. You can make the cookie dough in advanced and just bake them the next day. Give them a try!

Tequila Cookies

Tequila Cookies
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Sablés au Citron
Makes about 50 cookies

Ingredients:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
4 teaspoons tequila
Grated zest of 2 limes
Grate zest of half an orange
2 cups all-purpose flour
Granulated sugar for coating

Directions:

  1. Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky.
  2. Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, tequila, grated lime and orange zest. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to under beat than over beat at this point; if the flour isn’t fully incorporated, that’s ok– just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half.
  4. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  5. Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm) thick. Get the thickness right, and the length you end up with will be fine. Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)
  6. Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until it is smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze.
  8. Spread the coating sugar on a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in the sugar, pressing the sugar gently to get it to stick if necessary, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch (7 mm) thick.
  9. Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them.
  10. Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned. (It’s fine if the yolk-brushed edges brown a smidgen.) Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Notes:

  • To get the sugar to stick better, I moved the log over to a piece of plastic wrap, and in the sort of technique you’d see a sushi chef use to shape a roll, use the plastic to press the sugar in by wrapping it tightly. You can make the cookies thicker if you’d like; just bake them longer.)
  • Keeping: Packed airtight, the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature. Because the sugar coating will melt, these cookies are not suitable for freezing.

Tequila Cookies

Tequila Cookies