The recipe that follows is very special to me. These cookies are nothing short of magical and have never let me down, coming out perfect every time.
Without lavender these cookies would just be a dry, scone-like cookie. Lavender is the real MVP here. Not crumbly or crispy, my Lavender Tea Cookies are perfect to have with a cup of coffee or tea.
More than just a flavor, lavender has been linked with magical properties across many traditions and cultures. Protection, luck, and love are my favorite uses for lavender, but you can look to the internet or your tradition for more uses. As such a powerful ingredient, I like to take a moment when making the icing to set the intention for these cookies. Personally, I like stating my intentions out loud while placing my hand over the milk and lavender as it boils, focusing my intent through my hand into the milk. Another method I like is speaking my blessing out loud while aiming my breath, filled with my words and intention, at the milk and lavender. This is obviously an optional step, and can be modified to suit your magical tradition. I should also mention, if you are sick or are making cookies for a party or for work, leave the breath out, getting people sick is not magic.
Note: This recipe makes a LOT of cookies. You are able to half the cookie recipe if you want less (probably about 3 dozen cookies, depending on the size you roll the cookie logs into), but then you would have extra icing. You can, of course, dip your cookie tops in the icing and probably use up more that way, but I've never done it. So let me know if you do. I prefer to drizzle the icing because it looks more fancy this way. And fancy is always good. Always.
*These are not a last minute cookie. Like love itself, Lavender Tea Cookies are a commitment. They are really easy to make. I promise. But plan on making these or you are going to have a bad time. Also have a stand mixer. Or really enjoy working with a dense, difficult dough. Please take it easy on your mixer too, if you break it by locking the head in the down position or running it too fast, I warned you. I've never broken one or had issues, but I am always a little nervous. Go slow and steady and you should be fine.
Finally, these are not, unfortunately, my recipes. I do not follow the original recipes exactly, but would like to give credit where credit is due, so links to the original recipes can be found beneath mine.
2 cups white sugar (I use Trader Joe's Cane Sugar, but use what you got)
1 cup butter (softened to room temperature. I mean it. Room temperature.)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups white whole wheat flour*
3 cups unbleached flour*
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1. Cream the room temperature butter, sugar and vanilla. Once the mixture is light in color beat in the eggs.
2. In a large bowl (seriously, 6 cups my friend) combine the white whole wheat flour, unbleached flour, and baking powder.
3. In a bowl or measuring cup mix buttermilk and baking soda until dissolved. Note: This mixture will start to rise. Make sure that there is a two cup capacity in your bowl/cup or that you mix it right before you move to step 4 and can work quickly. So, what I'm saying is, make sure you have the space the first time around.
4. Add the flour and buttermilk mixture into the butter incrementally alternating from one to the other. The dough will get stiff. Like real stiff. I use a stand mixer and unlock the top (the head bobs up and down) so that it doesn't strain the motor too hard working on this dough. And set it low. Really low. The dough gets dense, so I make sure turn off the mixer to scrape down the sides and the paddle to make sure it really combined well as I go.
5. Divide dough in 3 or 4 even amounts. Place plastic wrap on your flat work area and place one of the amounts of dough on the plastic wrap, placing it in or squeezing it into a log shape. Pull the wrap up around the long sides of the dough to meet, and push the remainder to either side ensuring it's sealed. Roll the dough a little against a flat surface to get a smooth log shape. Doesn't need to be perfect, but should a log-type shape. Smooth ends of plastic wrap so that dough ends are covered and won't dry out. Continue the process until all your dough is wrapped up. Place dough in fridge overnight.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough logs more if you'd like them to be more uniform. Since they are cold they will be more firm and easier to shape. Remove plastic wrap and slice dough from log. These cookies will spread a little and rise, play around with the thickness and see what you like. Mine are usually about a half inch or so. Maybe.
7. Place cookies on cookies sheet. Bake cookies for 8 to 12 minutes, or until tops no longer give in when tapped lightly. The bottoms should be a golden brown and the tops should be light. Allow cookies to cool.
*I use Trader Joe's white whole wheat flour and unbleached flour. You don't need to use either and can use all purpose flour like the original recipe calls for, however I have always used some white whole wheat flour. I think it makes the cookies a little more dry and gives them a nice flavor, but who knows. If you try it let me know. My guess is just softer cookies
Lavender Icing Ingredients:
1/3 cup milk
1 to 2 teaspoons dried lavender (food grade)
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1. Bring milk and lavender to boil, stirring as it heats. Once the milk starts to boil remove from heat.
2. Let milk and lavender steep for 20 minutes. Put confectioners' sugar in a large bowl. Strain lavender from milk into the bowl of confect
ioners' sugar. Stir until the lumps are mostly gone.
3. Put icing in pastry bag or plastic bag and cut off tip. Place cooled cookies close together on parchment paper or plastic wrap for easy cleanup. The icing should drip out of the bag, move back and forth quickly to create thin lines keeping movement either side to side or up and down for uniform lines across the cookies. Allow icing to harden for a few hours before packing up the cookies.
Original Cookie Recipe: Mrs. Schaller's Sugar Cookies - All Recipes
Original Icing Recipe: Lavender Icing - Martha Stewart
I would love to know how your cookies come out, how much people love them, or how much movement you are able to get with these magical cookies.