I bought some lavender at the farmers’ market a couple weekends ago and, unlike a month ago, I was at a loss at what to do with it. Maybe that’s because I made lavender recipes for two weeks straight in August.
I thought about pancakes, but then, I saw a recipe for lavender orange blossom cookies. It’s a Lebanese recipe and the cookies are called “graybeh.” Sold, I thought. I adapted it to make it easier because the original was kind of complicated.
I love lavender but I really, really love orange blossom water. You can usually find it at an international grocery store but if not, it’s easy to order it off Amazon. It comes in pretty glass bottles and smells floral, sweet, and slightly citrusy. If you’ve never tried it and it’s baked into something, you might mistake it for lemon.
These cookies could not be simpler to make. You cream some butter, add powdered sugar, lavender, orange blossom water, and flour.
Then you divide the dough into quarters and form each piece into a log. Cut the dough on the diagonal to make diamond-shaped cookies. Spread them out on a cookie sheet, pop them in the oven, and wait about 20 minutes until they’re golden brown around the edges.
I sprinkled my cookies with some powdered sugar once they cooled, but feel free to leave that part out if you want them less sweet. I don’t really know why you’d want that, but to each his/her own.
I brought these into work this morning so I wouldn’t eat them all myself. They’re already a hit. People keep coming by my office thanking me for the cookies, and for telling them ahead of time that orange blossom and lavender are inside. I wanted to warn people because the flavors aren’t something you’d try everyday.
I’m going to go steal one to eat with tea. I’d highly recommend that combo, or a cookies and coffee situation. The cookies are on the crunchier side so they taste extra good dunked in tea or coffee.
In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this song. I’ve been listening to more country music lately and last week, I revisited one of the Dixie Chicks’ first albums. I couldn’t believe that I’d never heard this song but I guess I was distracted in my youth by their saucier hits, like “Goodbye Earl” and “Ready to Run.”
Orange Blossom Lavender Cookies (Graybeh)
¾ cup butter, at room temperature
1 ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons dried lavender
½ teaspoon Maldon salt
1 tsp orange blossom water
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
extra confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling on cooled cookies
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F with a rack in the middle of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Cream the butter in a stand mixer on high until it’s light and fluffy. Then, mix in the confectioners’ sugar, lavender, and salt at medium speed. Add the orange blossom water and mix until incorporated.
Add the flour a 1/2 cup at a time, mixing between each addition until incorporated. Once the dough is dry and crumbly, stop the mixer. Divide the dough into quarters and roll each piece into a log, 1 inch wide and 1 inch thick. Cut the dough on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces. Place them on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between each cookie.
Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking. The cookies will be done when they are set and slightly brown around the edges.
Place the baking sheet on a cooling rack. Once the cookies are cool, sprinkle on confectioners’ sugar. Enjoy with coffee, tea, or by themselves! Store extra cookies in an airtight container.