Day 1 – Honey Lavender Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)

8 Jul

Day 1: On Friday at the Farmers’ Market in Union Square I picked up a bag of culinary lavender, as I have always been curious about how to use it in the kitchen.  After scouring the internet for lavender recipes, I decided on five to create in my kitchen this week!  This idea came to me this past weekend, as I am off from teaching in the summer and wanted to do something meaningful and exciting.  I decided that cooking something new each day and recording it would allow me to explore in the kitchen, find new and interesting recipes, but also have a product to show at the end of the summer.  I plan on documenting my recipes, how the recipes work, and my thoughts and experiences as I navigate the kitchen, as well as new ingredients.  Below is the recipe and pictures from my experience in the kitchen today – my first day.

Cookies are ready!

Cookies are ready!

I found this recipe on The Hummingbird High: A Baking Blog and could not wait to get started.  As I am on a gluten free diet, I have adapted some of the ingredients of the recipe to work for my household.

Ingredients
For the Honey Lavender Butter Cookies
(makes approximately 24 3-inch cookies)
  • 1 tablespoon culinary lavender (dried or fresh will do – I used dried)
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour – I used gluten free flours – both coconut flour and trader joe’s gluten-free baking flour.
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons water  (I used more than 2 tablespoons in order to keep my dough together)
For the Lavender Glaze
(makes approximately 1/4 cup of glaze)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 tablespoon culinary lavender (dried or fresh will do – again, I used dried)
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla
  • a couple drops of purple food coloring (optional) I did not do this as my food coloring was away and too hard to pull out
Directions
    1. Put the 1 1/2 tablespoons almond milk and 1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender used in the glaze recipe in a small ramekin, cover, and refrigerate for 3-4 hours (or overnight if possible).
    2. Preheat the oven to 350 (F) degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and grease both the parchment paper and the cookie sheet.
    3. (This step is optional but I find it distributes the lavender better) In a food processor, whir 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon of dried lavender for about a minute until the lavender buds are chopped and distributed throughout the sugar and the sugar has a purple hue. (I did this which I believe helped distribute the lavender.)
    4. In a medium bowl, sift together 2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
    5. Using a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or, do this manually with a wooden spoon in a big bowl), beat together 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and 3 tablespoons of honey until very creamy and smooth.  (I did this without a mixer, as I do not have one in my tiny NYC apartment.  I let the butter soften so that it was almost liquid-y, which was helpful.)
    6. Slowly sift in the flour mixture and beat just until the dough forms large clumps. The dough should be a little crumbly at this point. Add 1 teaspoon of water from your 2 tablespoons of water and continue beating at a low speed, adding water teaspoon by teaspoon until the dough comes together and is less crumbly.  (I added more water, maybe because of the gluten-free flour?  It was definitely crumbly through to the end.
    7. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and squeeze the dough into a ball. Use a rolling pin or the back of your hands to flatten the ball into a 9-inch square that is approximately 1/4-inch thick.**My hand worked much better than my rolling pin.)**  Use a cookie cutter to stamp out whatever cookie shapes you want.
    8. Transfer the cookie dough shapes onto your greased and parchment-lined baking pan, using the twines of a fork to poke holes in each cookie.
    9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cookies are golden-brown and feel firm when lightly pressed. **My oven is very hot and my cookies were done within 20 minutes.  Make sure to know your oven or get yourself an oven thermometer.  Leave the cookies on the cookie sheet and set on a wire rack to cool for a few minutes, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
    10. Once the cookies have cooled, take out the ramekin of lavender and milk from the fridge. (from the first step in the recipe) At this point, the lavender should have cold-infused the milk full of flavor. Strain the flowers from the milk.
    11. Stir together 1 cup confectioner’s sugar, the strained lavender infused milk, 1/8 teaspoon vanilla, and food coloring in a small bowl. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved and the color is uniform. Use immediately to glaze the cookies, sprinkle a couple lavender leaves on top of the cookies.

Outcome

The cookies were out of this world!  As they went into the oven I was a bit nervous, as they were flakey and seemed to be falling apart.  As soon as they were baked, though, they came together.  I loved working with a new ingredient – lavender – which I will be working with all week.  It was floral and fresh, without being too overpowering.  The cookies were sweet, but not too sugary.  Nothing like a chocolate chip cookie, as they are more subtle in flavor.  They were a delightful treat at the end of a hot summer day.  I will definitely be making them again, and will most likely share the leftovers with friends and family!

Day 1 - Honey Lavender Butter Cookies

Day 1 – Honey Lavender Butter Cookies

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2 Responses to “Day 1 – Honey Lavender Butter Cookies (Gluten Free)”

  1. Kirsten July 15, 2013 at 9:46 am #

    I can attest that these cookies were yummy! And that says a lot coming from a chocoholic 🙂

    • abbyrote July 16, 2013 at 12:25 am #

      Thanks, Kirsten! Glad you liked them. More to follow.

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