Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Sweet Lemon I'm in love.

I was just recently asked to guest blog on a lovely blogger friend's site. It's always such an honor to be asked to do this. Elizabeth is one of those absolutely amazing ladies who you would definitely like to have over for tea. In fact, I hope this year to spend more time getting to know her even more. If you get a chance, go check out her blog LocalSavour and read her 12 Days of Christmas Cookies series. Each cookie is as unique as the guest bloggers that are sharing. Below is my submission.

During the holidays my daughter and I love to sip tea. It’s always been a favorite pastime and when it’s super crazy during the holidays, tea is the perfect thing to slow us down and allow us to savor all of the holiday joy instead of pulling our hair out trying to get to the next event. Of course, this experience is more than just enjoying a pot of hot tea. There are also the wonderful treats that tend to be served with it. One of my favorites is shortbread, which is also always on our Christmas cookie list. Its delicate crunch and slightly sweet flavor is perfect for gift giving, cookie swaps, Santa’s plate or a hot steaming cup of tea. Another treat in our house, or I should say in our garden this time of year, is fruit from our bountiful Meyer lemon tree. Most of the lemons are set a side for the traditional limoncello that we make every year. However, our tree is usually quite plentiful so we have enough for many other lemon treats. This shortbread highlights the Meyer lemon without being too sweet or too tart. The lavender is a pleasant surprise that brings perfect balance. After all, isn’t balance what we are all trying to achieve this time of year? I’m jus’ sayin’!

Meyer Lemon Shortbread with a Meyer Lemon Lavender Drizzle

•   1 ½ Cups of Butter
•   1 Cup of Coconut Sugar
•   3 Tbsp of Fresh Meyer Lemon Juice
•   The Zest of 1 Meyer Lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
•   3 ½ Cups of Flour
•   ¼ Tsp of Kosher Salt

Mix the Butter and the sugar together until combined. Add the zest, juice, flour and salt. Beat until combined. Dough should be able to pull together to make 2 balls of dough. Flatten each ball into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350.

Roll one disk out to ¼ of an inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. I did rectangles and triangles. You could also use a cookie cutter. Place each cookie onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Allow room between each cookie. Prick with a fork a couple times on top of each cookie to allow even rising. Bake 10-12 minutes (depending on your oven). Watch the edges and remove from oven when golden. Do not over-brown your shortbread. Cool on a rack.

Drizzle Lemon Glaze on top of cookie, then sprinkle edible lavender on top before glaze sets.

Meyer Lemon Glaze
In a small bowl, combine the following (except for the Lavender)
1 Cup of Icing Sugar (Powdered Sugar)
3 Tbsp of Fresh Meyer Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp of Meyer Lemon Zest
2 Tbsp of Culinary (Edible) Lavender for Garnish

Stir like crazy. If it seems like there’s not enough juice, keep stirring - it will come together. When it is a thick drizzle, you can spread on cooled shortbread. Or fill a small zip-lock bag, snip the corner and pipe a drizzle on top of each cookie.