Have I mentioned my love for bitters yet?
Let it be known, I have an unhealthy obsession with them; I have a bitters and soda (water, that is) most nights with dinner, and have gotten Meghan into them as well - together, we go through quite a few bottles over the course of a year. This Christmas, she presented me with ELEVEN artisan bitters from across the US for me. I was blown away, and my tastebuds have been in heaven. If that wasn't enough, my sister Allison brought me 2 bottles from Seattle for the holidays too. I’m sure you can imagine my delight; I barely knew where to start.
I got thinking about one of my older cookie recipes that fell by the wayside over the years: lavender lemon shortbreads. They were delicious, but between swearing off of butter (kind of essential for shortbread) and getting lavender pieces stuck in my teeth, I haven’t made them in ~3 years.My sister's gift of lavender bitters reminded me that I hadn't had a good lavender cookie in ages. A bit of tinkering with an old Joy of Cooking recipe and I think I've found a way to bridge my love of cookies with my love of bitters.
Winter blues? Looks more purple to me, maybe even... lavender?
2 ½ C. flour (GF option here)
1 ½ t. baking powder
¾ t. salt
¼ t. cinnamon
¼ t. nutmeg
1 C. sugar
¾ C. vegetable oil
2 flax gel eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
¼ t. lemon extract
Zest of 1 large lemon, finely chopped
Juice of ½ large lemon
1 T. lavender bitters (I used Scrappy’s Lavender Bitters)
1 T. crushed dried lavender flowers
¾ - 1 C. powdered sugar, sifted
Juice of ½ lemon
Crushed dried lavender flowers
Prep time: 15-20 min
Cook time: 20-30 min
Yield: ~2 dozen cookies
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. In another large bowl or stand mixer, combine the oil, flax egg, vanilla, lemon extract, juice of half of your lemon, and bitters until smooth. Add the lemon zest and lavender flower, then the dry ingredients from the other bowl. Mix on medium speed until just mixed, as over-mixing can lead to more brittle, crumbly cookies.
Bake on lightly-greased cookie sheets or parchment paper for 8-12 min, or until the edges are just beginning to turn golden. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on a wire rack while you mix the glaze.
Sift the powdered sugar into a small bowl, then whisk in the lemon juice until the glaze is even and no lumps remain. Start with the ¾ C. and add more if your lemon was especially large; you want your glaze to be slightly thick, but still viscous and lemony. I've over-sugared it before, and a tiny drop of lemon extract helps boost the flavor, but isn't necessary.
Drizzle over the fully-cooled cookies with a plate or paper towel under the rack, sprinkle with more crushed lavender and let the glaze set. I like to refrigerate them for a few hours so the glaze doesn't just drip off.
There you have it - fresh, spring flavors to chase off any lingering winter doldrums.