Lavender Shortbread Recipe

 St Andrew’s Day on November 30th is the traditional time to celebrate Scotland’s cultural, musical and culinary heritage and you cannot have a more customary edible treat than shortbread.

This delicious, melt-in-the-mouth biscuit has been around in some form for hundreds of years; a (caraway-flavoured) version was said to be a particular favourite of Mary Queen of Scots and later on shortbread was much enjoyed for afternoon tea, by Queen Victoria.

In our Tante Marie recipe, we have used that most traditional of English flowers, lavender, to impart a lovely, delicate floral flavour that enhances and complements the buttery richness.

We have also added another surprise ingredient: custard powder. Actually, as custard powder is predominantly comprised of cornflour, this addition helps to add crispness to the biscuits, as well as some golden blush from the natural food colouring.

The term ‘short’ in the context of baking means crumbly texture – but in our opinion it also means that they won’t hang around for very long, as everyone will want to taste these delicious, fragrant morsels.

The biscuits will store for several days, in an airtight container or biscuit tin.

For the shortbread:

  • 55g butter
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 55g plain flour
  • 25g custard powder
  • 50g lavender sugar for dipping – method below

To make the shortbread:

Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Grease a large baking sheet.

Cream the butter and sugar together.

Sift together the remaining dry ingredients and gradually work into the butter mixture until the dough is formed.

Roll carefully and cut out into the desired shapes. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until pale golden.

As soon as they are removed from the oven, turn the biscuits upside down onto a plate of lavender sugar and then place upright onto a cooling rack and leave to cool.

To make the lavender sugar:

You will need fresh or dried, unsprayed English lavender flowers – use approximately 1-2 tsp. flower heads to every 100g caster sugar. (Don’t use too much as it will taste ‘soapy’ – just enough to impart a gentle, scented undertone).

Mix well in a bowl, then store in clean, dry jam jars in a cool, dark place for at least a week, turning occasionally to mix.

Sieve well using a fine mesh before use – you only want the infused flavour, not the bits of flowers!

If you enjoy making this delicious Lavender Shortbread, take a look at some of our other recipe blogs or browse through our Lifestyle Cookery Classes to refine your cookery skills with our teachers.