Posts Tagged ‘Vanilla Bean’

Lavender, Vanilla Bean, and Rosewater…Oh My!

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

Lavender is making a hug come back in my kitchen this spring. I am tucking it under the skin with lemon zest and thyme when I am panfrying a butterflied chicken. It’s floating in my simple syrup for a bold and distinctive lemonade. And now it is taking over my cookie plate.

The following recipe for my Lavender Vanilla Bean Tea Biscuits with Rosewater Icing is a new favorite. As soon as these shortbread cookies leave the oven a sweet perfume pervades the kitchen. Fragrant and mildly floral, they are an unexpected treat for a summertime garden party, paired with a tall glass of herbed tea or crisp lemonade. It is important to use the seeds of a vanilla bean instead of the more typical extract so that the natural and rich flavor shines. The dried lavender gets a little boost from the optional rosewater icing.

for the cookies:
1 cup sugar
¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter at room temperature
2 eggs
seeds of one vanilla bean
1 teaspoon dried lavender, crushed
2½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine sea salt

for the optional icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons milk or water
1/2 teaspoon rosewater

To make the cookie dough, beat the sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla bean seeds, and lavender in a large mixing bowl until fluffy and well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt, and then stir it into the butter/sugar mixture. Divide the dough in two equal parts and roll into logs in plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator for at least one hour, or until chilled enough to slice.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Once the dough is chilled, cut the logs crosswise into 1/8 inch-thick circles and space an inch apart on a lined or greased cookie sheet. Bake for 7-9 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven to a cooling rack.

Meanwhile, prepare the icing. Whisk the powdered sugar, milk, and rosewater together in a mixing bowl and drizzle over the tea biscuits once they are completely cool.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to one week once the icing has fully dried.