Crunchy on the edges, slightly soft in the middle, full of vanilla extract and fresh lavender, these vanilla and lavender shortbread stars will delight you.
I really want to tell you that the July sunshine is back since Thursday, but it’s not. It’s as wet and windy as ever. The upside is that means plenty of hours to while away in the kitchen. I’ve been doing just that so that this week I can bring to you another of my very own recipes… Lavender and Vanilla Shortbread Stars! Even if you’re unsure about lavender flavoured bakes, you will love this one.
Along our drive way at home are endless lavender plants, well, endless apart from the one at the end which I accidentally ran over once… oops! Anyway, last summer I decided to put the flower to good use and made lavender shortbread biscuits. It was my first time baking with lavender and I was sceptical if I’d like the flavour, but I loved it and so did my even more sceptical sisters! This time round, I decided to mix it up with a bit of vanilla too. The flavours really compliment each other because the vanilla is so subtle, you will love it.
So I guess it’s time that I give you my recipe for these adorable star-shaped goodies. They only take 5 simple ingredients which you’re almost guaranteed to have in your cupboard or garden. Let me just grab my coffee (it is the afternoon after all) and I’ll be right with you.
Much better. Here’s a list of what you’ll need:
300g plain flour
100g golden caster sugar
5 long heads of lavender, more if the flowers are little
200g butter, cold
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
The first step is to line two baking sheets with baking paper. Trust me, if you leave it until you’ve rolled and cut your first star, your hands will be so sticky it’ll just end in a mess and your shortbread star might get stuck! Now is also a good time to preheat your oven to around 160’C if it’s a fan oven.
Mix the flour, sugar and lavender together in a mixing bowl. I tried adding the lavender at the end, but you get a much better distribution of it if you do it now and that means a tastier biscuit at the end. Get the flowers off the stalk by running pinched fingers along the stem from the top downwards, against the flowers. The petals will all fall of for you then.
Roughly chop the butter so that it’s easier to rub in, and then rub in with your finger tips. Make sure your butter is fresh from the fridge so that the warmth of your hands don’t melt it much. This could cause your dough to become too oily. Lastly, add your vanilla essence.
Now wrap up your dough and chill it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes because this will help enhance the flavour and make the dough easier to work with. If it’s sticky when you take it out, just use plenty of flour when rolling.
Roll out or flatten out your dough with your hands to about a 1-2cm thickness depending on how crunchy vs soft centre you want. Personally, I grew up on cakey school shortbread so I prefer the 2cm thickness to relive my youth in the biscuit’s centre, but it’s entirely up to you. Do this as few times as possible or your dough may become tough. Cut out the shapes and pop onto your prepared trays.
Prick each star with a fork to let the steam out and bake in your preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes. Add a little longer if you like your shortbread particularly crunchy, but make sure you watch it every minute or so so that it isn’t over baked. You want the edges to be just beginning to turn gold but the biscuit to still be pale.
Let the lavender and vanilla shortbread stars cool on the tray for 5 minutes, then move to a wire cooling rack to finish. Voila, enjoy them with a cup of tea like me, my mom and sisters did. They’re your perfect afternoon treat. While we’re on the subject, have you seen my new blogging event Tea and Cake Tuesday? Go check it out now for a lot of baking fun and friends!
That’s it for this week’s #SweetTuesdays, but please do check back for Friday’s bread post. If you missed the last two #SweetTuesdays, here’s my Eton Mess Bundt Cake and my Key Lime Pie. It’s a week of childhood nostalgia for me, so it’ll be French! Thanks for reading and baking along with me, I’d love to see or hear about your bakes this week! You can comment here, or as always I’ll be on Twitter/Instagram/Facebook too!
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