Using part rice flour makes this buttery shortbread light as air and twice as yummy. Just the right amount of dried lavender lends a lilt of floral flavor — and a bit of color — without overpowering. This same recipe can be modified (see below) to make Rose Petal Shortbread, too.
- 1 cup granulated sugar plus 2 Tbs. for garnish
- 2 cups unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- 2-1/2 Tbs. dried lavender flowers culinary grade, plus1/2 Tbs. for garnish
- 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white rice flour
- 1-1/2 tsp. salt
- With a stand or electric hand mixer, cream sugar, butter, vanilla, lemon zest and lavender until light and fluffy.
- Whisk together flours and salt, and add to butter mixture and combine until the dough comes together (it will be crumbly, but stick together when squeezed).
- Line a 12-by-16-inch pan (you can also use a 13-by-9-inch pan for slightly thicker shortbread) with parchment. Place dough in pan and break up any large clumps, spreading evenly. Press dough down gently and sprinkle the remaining sugar and lavender flowers on top.
- With a rolling pin or drinking glass, roll out the dough evenly to smooth the top. (Use a little additional sugar if the dough sticks to the rolling pin.) Prick indentations into the top of the shortbread with a fork (this prevents the shortbread from rising unevenly).
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until shortbread is light golden brown.
- Cut the squares while still warm and remove cookies from pan when cool.
- For Rose Petal Shortbread: Substitute 3 Tbs. finely chopped dried rose petals (food grade) for the lavender, keeping the lemon zest and vanilla extract. You can also add 1/2 tsp. of rosewater with the other flavorings. Sprinkle additional chopped rose petals and sugar over top.
- Makes 24 2-by-2-inch cookies
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