i got a taste of spring yesterday. michigan finally graced us with some none snow 50 degree almost spring weather. it made everyone around here a little crazy. maybe it’s the fact that it’s been so dark and dreary for so long or maybe it’s because we could finally walk around outside without our faces hurting from the wind…but we were all walking with a little extra pep in our step. the beauty of living in a place with seasons is each season has it’s own flavors and scents. there is something about lavender and citrus that just screams spring to me. since i had a giant jar of dried lavender i thought it was time to bust it out and do some baking.
i usually head right to my favorite ice cream shop in grand rapids (loves) when they announce they have their lavender blueberry ice cream in the rotation but alas i had no blueberries in my house and they are not in season right now. i had some left over lemons from the previous night so i thought i would whip up some lavender shortbread cookies with a lemon and lavender honey frosting. i bought these cute little sugar bees off of amazon that fit perfectly with my cookie theme of spring.
speaking of bees i really hope mine survived this latest cold spell. they were doing so good and i’n too scared to check on them. maybe I will tonight though.. .stay tuned.
there is no better smell than fresh citrus being grated onto the the cutting board. i used the zest and juice from one entire lemon but if you want a really strong lemon flavor in your frosting go for it. i leaned more into the side of subtle. i also didn’t have a cookie cutter the size i wanted so i used the top of a 1/2 cup measuring tool to cut out my circles.
this recipe can easily be cut in half but i made an entire batch and cut the dough in half, freezing the second have for another time.
here is what you will need.
- 2 and 1/4 cups of room temperature butter
- 1 cup of regular white sugar
- 2.5 teaspoons of lavender extract or lavender syrup, divided
- 2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, divided
- 4 cups of all purpose flour sifted
- 2 teaspoons of lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 8oz cream cheese room temperature
- 5 cups of powdered sugar sifted
- food coloring optional
to make the cookies..
- preheat oven to 350F and line two trays with parchment paper. cream together the white sugar and the 2 cups of room temperature butter with a paddle attachement.
- add in 1.5 tsp of lavender and 1tsp of vanilla.
- slowly add the 4 cups of sifted flour.
- once the tough comes together (about 3 minutes), roll out onto a heavily floured surface about 1/8 inch thick. cut out as desired. to make the sandwiches i used a round circle measuring cup.
- bake for 9 – 11 minutes pending your oven. as soon as the edges turn brown remove them from oven and let cool on a wire rack or flat surface.
to make the frosting..
- cream the remaining 1/4 cup of butter, cream cheese, 1 tsp of lavender, 1 tsp vanilla, lemon juice and lemon rind together until smooth.
- slowly add in the sifted powdered sugar until it’s lump free. add food coloring if desired. (i used 3 drops red, 2 drops blue)
to assemble the cookies..
- on flip the cookies baked side under so the crumble is facing up. pipe a small spiral about half a centimeter from the edge.
- sandwhich partner cookie on top and gently press so the frosting spreads to the rim and the cookie sets.
- gently pipe a small flower off to the side and add your little honey bee.
of course these can be assembled, frosted and decorated however you like. honestly the cookies were phenomenal without the frosting dipped in coffee. it’s all up to you!