Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Lavender Cocoa Chocolate Chip Shortbread

It's almost May, and then it will be almost June, and then it will be almost summer!  I can't believe it.  I say it - or at least think it - every season, but it really does feel like time is moving more quickly lately.

I constantly question how I'm spending my time.  On the rare occasion I'm doing nothing, or watching a movie without my computer on my lap, I feel I should be editing photos, or writing my next blog post, or working on a project around the house.  When I'm working on my blog, I think of the weeds that need to be pulled in our back yard.  When my shoulders are aching after countless hours working on the house, I think I should just give myself a break already and let myself relax a little.  It's not a battle I can win, and I just need to accept that as a creative person, I will always have something to do.  Something I feel I should be doing.  I like to be busy, though.  I truly enjoy it, and I love that I am passionate about so many things.

Last summer, I brought home a bag of dried culinary lavender from Paonia, CO, and only used a small portion of it for lavender honey shaved chocolate ice cream.  Such beautiful ice cream.

With summer approaching, and plans to return to Paonia this summer, I remembered the lavender again, almost forgotten in the back of the pantry, and I thought of cookies.

Since the lavender paired so nicely with chocolate in the ice cream, I decided to make shortbread cookies, with just a few tablespoons of cocoa powder so that they are more cocoa-esque than dark chocolate.

Tiny chocolate chips are scattered throughout the cookie dough, with a few more sprinkled on top, coarse flakes of sea salt, and the lavender.

The cookies are teeny tiny, so you can eat a few, and perfect with milk or tea.

Lavender Cocoa Chocolate Chip Shortbread
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10 tablespoons cold, unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon ice water
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • lavender
  • coarse sea salt
In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and salt.  Add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, and pulse to incorporate.  Add the egg yolk and ice water and continue to pulse just until the dough comes together.  Turn out onto a piece of parchment paper, sprinkle with the chocolate chips and knead a few times to incorporate the chocolate chips.

Lightly flour the parchment paper, shape the dough into a disk and place on the flour.  Place a second piece of parchment on top of the dough.  Roll the dough out between the two pieces of parchment to 1/4 inch thick.

Dip a 1-inch round cutter in flour and cut as many cookies as you can, transferring them to a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper, placing the cookies 1 inch apart.  Gather up the dough scraps and repeat rolling and cutting until you've used up all the dough.  I ended up with about 44 cookies, which fit onto two baking sheets.

Freeze the cookies on the baking sheets for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Bake the frozen cookies for about 10-12 minutes, just until they appear cooked around the bottom.  Cool on the pans for several minutes, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely; handle the cookies carefully as shortbread is very delicate.

Sprinkle with the lavender and coarse salt.

Yields about 3 1/2 - 4 dozen small cookies

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

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