Lavender Vanilla Shortbread

Despite being adapted from Wisconsin Cheese, which gave me considerable pause, these are delicious. These are not not actually considered shortbread, but I dubbed them that after baking them and deciding they were much more shortbread like than a sugar cookie.  These egg less cookies are  light, flaky and much less sweet than the typical sugar cookie.

LAVENDER VANILLA SHORTBREAD COOKIES
(adapted from Wisconsin Cheese)

1 tablespoon dried lavender (I finally found these at Whole Foods)
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
Caster sugar and extra lavender for decorating

First blend the lavender and sugar in a food processor.  In a medium sized bowl beat butter and lavender sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, followed by the flour and salt and blend until combined, taking care not to over mix (dough should be soft but not sticky). Separate dough into two balls and wrap in plastic, flattening each into a flat disc and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 325°F.
Roll out the dough, one disc at a time, on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters.  I used a medium size linzer cookie shape.  I liked the scalloped edge  and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Decorate with sanding sugar and/or lightly press a lavender sprig or leaf into the cookie and top. I find the cookies keep their shape better when baking if they are kept as cold as possible until putting them into the oven.  sticking them in the freezer for a few minutes right before baking helps a lot.

Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to lightly brown around the edges. Carefully remove and cool on wire racks.  Makes about 2 dozen cookies depending on size.

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