These lemon lavender cookies really are as easy as 1 2 3. That’s because those are the ratios (by weight) of the sugar, butter, and flour in this lemon lavender shortbread cookie recipe.
I’ve always known that pound cakes are made with a pound of flour, butter, sugar, and eggs. But I didn’t know that many other baking recipes also start from standard ratios.
I learned that quick breads and muffins are based on the same ratio from Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio when I was working on my kale and cheese quick bread. Next I used the power of ratios to create my orange poppy seed waffles.
Shortbread cookies should follow yet another ratio. That’s 1 ounce of sugar, 2 ounces of unsalted butter, and 3 ounces of flour. There are no eggs in shortbread cookies.
Step by step
Making the lemon lavender shortbread dough
To make the cookies, cream room temperature butter together with the sugar, lemon zest, and dried culinary lavender (Panels #1 and #2 below). Then add the vanilla extract (Panel #3).
Add the flour (Panel #4 above) and mix. The cookie dough may be very crumbly (Panel #5). But wrap it in plastic wrap and knead it gently until it comes together into a disk (Panel #6).
Shortbread cookies need a quick chill in the fridge to make them easier to roll out.
One thing that’s beautiful about these lemon lavender shortbread cookies is that you can cut them into whatever you shape you desire. Or, you can shape the dough into a log, store it in the freezer, and cut off slices to bake whenever you like.
Lay the cutout cookies on a cookie sheet close together, but not touching. Shortbread cookies won’t spread much with baking, especially if you chill them first.
Bake until they are just light brown in color.
Yes. Shape the unbaked dough into a log and slice off rounds for baking as you desire. The frozen dough will keep, double wrapped and in a freezer bag, for up to 6 months.
Of course. I would use a simple icing made of confectioner’s sugar stirred with a squeeze of lemon juice. Dip the tops of the cookies into the icing and then re-invert while the icing dries.
No. But if this post doesn’t have you running out to buy a kitchen scale, I don’t know what will.
Yes, vegetable shortening would work in these.
No, these are two different things. Short crust pastry is often made with none to little sugar and is intended to be crumbly.
So now you know the secret to creating a shortbread cookie, the sky is your limit! Here are some shortbread cookie variations I’ve been dreaming about. Scale up or vary your flavorings as desired.
- Toasted pecan
- Orange poppy seed
- Rainbow chips
- Rainbow food coloring (see pic below)
- Linzer cookies using an almond shortbread cookie filled with raspberry jam
Lemon Lavender Cookies
- 2 ounces (57 grams or 4½ tablespoons) granulated sugar
- 4 ounces (113 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender flowers
- zest of one lemon
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 6 ounces (170 grams or 1⅓ cup) bleached all purpose flour plus extra for rolling out the dough
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In a medium size mixing bowl or bowl of your stand mixer, cream the sugar, butter, lavender, and lemon zest on medium speed until the butter is light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.2 ounces (57 grams or 4½ tablespoons) granulated sugar, 4 ounces (113 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, 1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender flowers, zest of one lemon
- Add the vanilla and mix for one minute.½ teaspoon vanilla
- Add the flour and salt and mix. The dough may or may not clump together.6 ounces (170 grams or 1⅓ cup) bleached all purpose flour, ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Pour out the mixture onto a sheet of plastic wrap and knead gently until the dough just starts to come together. Once it does, put it into the refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Roll out the dough to about ¼ to ⅓ inch, and cut it into rounds or other shapes.
- Place the cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. They do not need much spacing, but do not crowd them. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for about 10 to 15 minutes before baking.
- Bake for 16 to 20 minutes, depending on the thickness of your lemon lavender cookies and how long they were in the freezer. The cookies should be slightly firm and the edges just slightly brown. They will become firmer as they cool.
- Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.
This recipe was originally posted on April 29, 2021. It was last updated on April 8, 2022.
If you make these lemon lavender cookies, please share a pic. If you feel empowered to take the ratio and create your own cookie, please comment and let me know!
I’ve started a new Facebook group for home cooks, bakers, and cocktail makers. Please join the conversation!