While people in many parts of the country are already enjoying the first produce of spring, we in Asheville have yet to have that pleasure. Thankfully, the farmer's markets start up again in the next few weeks, but until then it is still the fruits of winter that I'll be eating. I don't think I've ever had such a variety of lemon desserts as I've had this winter, and I have been enjoying them so much.
One thing I hadn't made yet was lemon cookies. Given my love for cookies, it is surprising that I waited this long to make them, but here they are!
I knew I wanted to use Meyer lemons, and pair them with lavender. I found this recipe from Canelle et Vanille and made a few tweaks, ending up with these lovely cookies.
These cookies manage to be spring-like, despite their use of winter fruit; the brightness of the lemon, the sheer fact that they contain flowers; the happy flecks of yellow and purple throughout.
They have the perfect shortbread texture, as well; crispy with a tender crumb, flaky and not at all chalky. I can't stand those shortbreads that stick to the roof of your mouth.
The only change I might make should I bake these again would be to add more cashews. I was hoping they would play a stronger role here, but there were so few they weren't really noticeable at all. I questioned the amount as I was weighing them - I should have trusted my instincts...
Meyer Lemon, Lavender and Cashew Shortbread
adapted from Canelle et Vanille
110 grams butter, softened
30 grams powdered sugar
zest of two small Meyer lemons
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender buds
140 grams white wheat flour
2 grams salt
30 grams (though I would actually double this next time) chopped cashews
granulated sugar for dusting
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and powdered sugar until creamy. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and lavender buds, and mix to combine. Add flour and salt and mix until just combined. Stir in cashews. Roll dough between two sheets of parchment to about 1/4" thick. Carefully fold edges of parchment around dough, turn dough over so it keeps the folds closed, and place dough flat in refrigerator for at least two hours. Remove dough, preheat oven to 350, and cut into whatever shapes you desire. Place about 1/2 inch apart on parchment lined baking sheet, and dust evenly with granulated sugar. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until lightly golden - a little more so around the edges. Let cool on baking sheet.