With several lavender bushes in full bloom, I was intrigued by a recipe calling for lavender. As with most recipes, I had to streamline. My recipes have to be as simple as possible to make, using ingredients I have on hand, or it’s not going to happen…
When I looked over a recently-featured recipe, I knew I had to make some changes. One of the ingredients was blood orange-infused oil, not an ingredient in my larder! After I read up on the Blood Orange, though, I’ve become inspired to track one down at the nursery. Anyone living in a moderate climate, with cool night temperatures (like in our Bay Area) may qualify. The blood orange develops those distinct maroon pigments only in the cooler night weather.
Apparently, the blood orange is the sweetest, most flavorful orange (with hints of raspberry), loaded with the most vitamin C as well. And that’s why I’ll be eating those shortbread cookies — all that vitamin C, right?!
I must admit, if I plant a tree of my own, or even find the blood oranges stocked at the market, I’ll snag some for use in cooking. I would even make my own infused oil, as it’s quite simple to make. One just warms some olive oil a bit (lower than a simmer), adding the citrus zest and letting it steep a few hours before straining. It can then be stored in a cool place, offering a refreshing hint of flavor to various dishes.
The lavender shortbread recipe was quite an ongoing experiment. While I do recommend infusing your own citrus oils, use caution in making lavender oil, as it can be toxic in larger quantities. We brewed up some as part of an experiment at , but weren’t that impressed; the orange oil won out over the infused lavender.
Some shortbread recipes call for extra ingredients: Corn starch in addition to flour, confectioner’s sugar as well as regular sugar, and some call for baking soda or baking powder too. In streamlining my recipe, I skipped the corn starch, skipped the confectioner’s sugar, and the baking soda and powder. I was whipping the butter, olive oil, and sugar until light, so they were a light-enough cookie without those additions.
If you’re looking to serve a special cookie for a special occasion, these cookies would fit the bill. The shortbread inspires visions of tea parties and fairy tales, or at the least, a respite with a good cup of coffee!