Tag Archives: Desserts

Get baking…get running: Lavender Shortbreads

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

I am a painfully dependable person. If I’m part of your life you can basically be guaranteed that:

  • I will always be 5 minutes early, and at inopportune times will gently lecture about the importance of punctuality.
  • I will always apologize for the state of my house, no matter how clean or dirty.
  • I will always be up for late night snacks that include champagne (think nachos + champagne, mac and cheese + champagne, fish tacos + champagne)
  • I will always send a Thank You card, although I must confess that I’ve translated the year-long window that applies to wedding presents to ALL thank you cards. (Don’t worry Topher…yours is in the mail!)
  • And lastly, each fall,  I will become overcome with the need to get baking and get running. Admittedly, the latter is largely a means to an end for the former since I truly HATE running, but hey, it works.

And so, this weekend, itching to get butter melting, and my Kitchen Aid whirring, I also decided to get my arse moving.

With a few half marathons under my belt and no love lost… my cousin Margot and I have decided to become elite 10-Kers. that’s right folks…watch out. The Malarkey girls are in action.

First stop…Lavender Shortbreads.

These are just as delicious as they sound and make lovely gifts or house-warming presents. Pending on your lavender lust, you can add more or less. Serve these with afternoon tea and be impressed with just how cultured and sophisticated you are.

Lavender Shortbread Cookies
Makes a dozen cookies, can easily be doubled or even quadrupled.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons sifted confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh lavender (more or less, pending on taste)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. In a mixer, preferably your Kitchen Aid, combine the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in the lavender, mint, and orange zest, and gently blend. Add the flour, cornstarch, and salt, and mix until well blended and forming a dough. Give the dough a knead or two to fully assemble into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Flatten to about 2 inches thick. Refrigerate until firm, about 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shaped with cookies cutters, or a small, round glass. Place on ungreased cookie sheets.
    Rolled Dough Cut Dough
  3. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, just until cookies begin to brown at the edges. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

Adapted from AllRecipes.com

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A lot of work

In light of the challenging economic times, I decided to try and recalibrate my entertainment schedule to more fun, creative activities that didn’t immediately involve me drinking 10 over-priced drinks, staying out too late, splurging on unnecessary purchases, and going for McDonalds the next day to quell my hangovers. As such, I made a massively annoying list of  ‘Fun Things To Do On a Budget’.

Item #19 was ‘Master Making Pies’*

To achieve this item I knew I needed to call in the big guns. AKA, Marnie Poppins (my mom). A master pie maker who makes it look both fun and easy I figured she was just the person for the job. Now, lest you think that pie making actually is both ‘fun and easy’ let me assure you that it is not, at least not yet.

As such, I’ll save you the step-by-step typical post and rather approach this as a Greatest Hits list of tricks you need to know to make pie:

1. To prevent your pie dough from shrinking if cooking the crust only (for example for a Lemon Meringue Pie), put little pebbles in the pan, on top of the crust.

2. If you’re like me and don’t have an appropriate work surface to roll out your dough, a clean, un-textured towel cloth will just the trick when you put some flour on it.

3. When in doubt, less is more. Don’t beat up the dough or berate it with over zealous rolling. To ensure a flaky, light crust, you need to blend rather than beat. Took me a bit to get the hang of this one.

RECIPE TO COME.

*-Having attempted to make a pie once, I have since changed this to read ‘Try To Make One Pie a Week’

The fruit of my labors. Pie #1

The fruit of my labors. Pie #1

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