I love this elegant variation on classic shortbread, perfect for any spring occasion, even if that occasion is just having a quiet cup of tea. Here’s my recipe for vanilla lavender shortbread cookies.
I feel like every baker must have a little “baking wishlist” of recipes that they hope to have an excuse to learn to make one day. I know I definitely do, but it doesn’t always make sense to try them all, either because of cost, the time involved, or just the fact that my family probably won’t have anything to do with them. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a “plain cookie family”. 🙂 I have a few favorite teas that have lavender in them and I’ve always wanted to bake something with lavender to go along with my teas. Don’t get me wrong, although these cookies are beautiful, this is not a story of my family coming around to the idea of lavender as an ingredient for baked goods. They still want nothing to do with them, but at least these freeze really well, so I can just use them up myself over a few months’ worth of tea times. If you have an adventurous friend or family member, they’ll probably be intrigued and thrilled to try these with you, because they really are so tasty, even if they’re a little different. Here’s how to make my vanilla lavender shortbread cookies.
Ingredients for the Vanilla Lavender Shortbread Cookies
I use plant-based ingredients in all my baking, but I almost always use traditional methods so I end up with a classic flavour and texture in my finished baked goods. This means that if you prefer to use traditional ingredients, you can definitely swap those in seamlessly, or even if you just want to try one or two of my plant-based substitutions, but maintain other traditional ingredients in the recipe, you can definitely do that with great results.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these cute little cookies:
- Culinary lavender
- Almond milk
- Plant-based butter substitute
- Confectioner’s sugar
For the butter, I’ve been using Becel brand sticks lately for everything and I find they always work really well for me. I know a lot of bakeries use this in their plant-based items as well. I avoided it for a long time because I thought that since it’s lower in cost than a lot of other plant-based butters, it wouldn’t work as well, but it’s great. 🙂
I found my culinary lavender in the spice section at my local bulk food store, but you can also order some here. A little goes a long way!
Method for Making the Plant-Based Lavender Shortbread
Every single time I make any kind of shortbread, I always wonder why I don’t make it more often. So simple! So elegant! So good! This variation is no exception. 🙂
Start out by creaming together room temperature butter and confectioner’s sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add in the flour, a little at a time until everything is well-combined.
Shortbread dough should look a bit crumbly at this point, but should hold together when you pinch it. If your dough is a bit too dry, you can break the shortbread rules a little bit and add in a teaspoon or two of almond milk. But wait before you do that with this recipe! Since this is a vanilla shortbread, we’re going to add in a teaspoon of vanilla and mix that in well. That may end up being all the liquid you need to make things come together nicely. If you do still need to add another teaspoon of almond milk after that, go ahead. It’s not 100% true to traditional shortbread, but it’s not the end of the world.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about a 1/8″ thickness, then use a cookie cutter to cut out as many cookies as you can. Combine the scraps and re-roll your dough to continue cutting cookies until all the dough is used up. I love a simple flower or scalloped circle cookie cutter for these, but of course you can use whatever you like.
Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, then place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before adding the glaze. These keep well at room temperature for about 3-5 days, or for months in the freezer.
Here’s the full printable recipe!
I love this elegant variation on classic shortbread, perfect for any spring occasion, even if that occasion is just having quiet cup of tea. Here's my recipe for vanilla lavender shortbread cookies.
- 3/4 cup Butter or plant-based substitute
- 3/4 cup Confectioner's sugar
- 1.5 cups + 2 tbsp Flour
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 2 tbsp Culinary lavender ground using a mortar and pestle to release the flavor
- 1/2 cup Confectioner's sugar for the glaze
- 2 tsp Almond milk for the glaze
- 1 tsp Vanilla for the glaze
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the confectioner's sugar and butter until light and fluffy. With the mixer running on low, slowly add in the flour, a little at a time and continue mixing until everything is well-combined. Add in the vanilla and mix until well-distributed. Feel free to add a tablespoon or two of almond milk at this point to make the dough come together if it's still a bit crumbly.
Add in the culinary lavender and mix until it's well-distributed throughout the dough.
Roll the dough out to 1/8" thickness and cut out cookies with cookie cutters. Continue re-rolling and cutting out cookies from the dough until all the dough has been used up.
Bake cookies on a silpat-lined baking sheet at 325° for 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through.
Allow the cookie to cool completely on a wire rack. Meanwhile, make the glaze by combining the second amounts of confectioner's sugar and vanilla, along with the almond milk in a small dish. Mix until smooth and drizzle over cooled cookies.
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