Apricot, lavender and heather honey shortbread cookies

April 28, 2011 § 1 Comment

Spring is starting to bloom into summer, with golden hazy days and Pimms-drenched afternoons becoming part of the daily routine. As I have most of the day off (a rare occurence), I decided to try out the new heather honey I bought recently. I don’t know if any of you have tried Walker’s Oatflake and heather honey biscuits, but the second I tried these I fell in love. I’ve finally got around to trying to make them with a little twist, as usual.

Using some more of my lovely lavender sugar from Waitrose, and some of my own vanilla sugar that I made last time I used it for strawberry, vanilla and basil ice cream (the recipe for which I’ll put up once I’ve perfected it), I made these shortbread cookies. They may be a little sweet, but they’re perfect for tea.

With the addition of a little chopped apricot, these are the right mix of fruity and sweet, with the herby lavender and heather notes balancing the taste well.

To make these delectable little treats, you will need:

  • 230g plain flour
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp lavender sugar (mostly flowers if you can pick them out)
  • 2 tbsp vanilla sugar
  • 100g icing sugar
  • 150g unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp heather honey (large spoonfuls, mind)
  • 50g semi-dried apricots chopped into 5mm cubes

Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder and lavender sugar in a medium bowl. Set this aside to use in a little while. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, vanilla sugar, icing sugar and heather honey. Cream these together until smooth and then add the chopped apricot.

At this point you add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients – the best way to do this is to add the flour one third at a time, mixing well in between. You’ll form a soft dough, which you scoop out onto a floured board or worktop.

Roll this into a log that is roughly 2 inches in diameter, and then wrap up tightly in cling film. Refridgerate the wrapped up dough for at least an hour.

Preheat the oven to 180°C and cut the refridgerated dough into ½ inch cookies. Place onto a parchment-lined baking tray about 2 inches apart and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden around the edges. They’ll be a little soft in the middle when they come out, so either stick them in for another 2 minutes if you want them crispy through, or let them cool completely.

The sea salt forms little salty pockets in the shortbread which work wonderfully with the sweet bites! These are best enjoyed with a hot cup of Earl Grey tea, or drizzled with a little melted white chocolate if you have an even sweeter tooth!


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