Thursday, June 24, 2021

Lavender shortbread #cookies #teatime


Lately, I’ve been noticing lavender shortbread here and there, prettily wrapped in our local bakery and online.  As my lavender plants survived our brutal winter this year, I decided to celebrate that special scent.  People are getting their second vaccines (plus two weeks) around here  and I am hoping to have a little tea in the screened porch or back yard depending on weather and mozzies. I thought lavender shortbread would be a nice addition to a cup of tea and other treats. I may even wear a ridiculous hat!

I grew up with shortbread. My mother used her MIL’s traditional Scottish recipe and made them every Christmas and also for special events, such as a tea for the ladies,  always with a dab of butter cream icing and (because it was the fifties and sixties) a festive sliver of maraschino cherry, red or green. The original recipe is very easy.  I thought it could make a good base for this experiment.

I wasn’t sure what constitutes culinary lavender and whether my garden plants would do, so I purchased some culinary lavender.  

I’ll keep investigating!

I am very happy with the results. These cookies are fragrant and apparently delish. They passed the rigorous son-in-law test, including the SIL from the UK.  I had thought they might be a bit girly but apparently not!  The neighbors were happy too. 

Hope you and yours enjoy them too.  Do drop in and tell me whether lavender sounds yummy or yucky. 


1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature

½ cup icing sugar

1 tbsp granulated sugar

2 cups flour

1 ½ tsp culinary lavender

1 tsp lemon zest

½ tsp vanilla extract


Crush lavender with granulated sugar and lemon zest using a mortar and pestle or even a rolling pin. Transfer to a large bowl.

Cream butter and icing sugar with lavender mix in the same bowl. 

Add vanilla. I see I forgot that in the ingredients photo but remembered it for the cookies. Whew!   

Stir in the flour and blend well.

Roll into a smooth ball,

 Chill for a half-hour (or longer) after wrapping in wax paper or plastic wrap.   

Roll out on floured surface, using lots of flour on rolling pin.

Traditionally in our family we rolled out the shortbread to a ½ inch thick and then cut it into small bars with a knife. For this recipe, I rolled it to ¼ inch thick and cut with cookie cutters, some round, some square. 

Bake at 325 for about 15 minutes or until they just start to color at the edges.

 Don’t let them brown as that will change the taste.

Some people thought the round ones tasted better than the square ones.  Make of that what you will. 


This is the ridiculous hat I have in mind!


 Mary Jane Maffini is the award-winning author of three and a half mystery series: the Camilla Maffini mysteries, the Fiona Silk capers and the Charlotte Adams organizer mysteries – number six coming soon! With her daughter Victoria Maffini, MJ collaborated on The Book Collector Mysteries as Victoria Abbott. Victoria Abbott spent several happy years on Mystery Lovers Kitchen. MJ  is very glad to be back and Victoria is waving at you all!

The first five Charlotte Adams are being reissued by Beyond the Page Publishing. Recipes have been added and of course, the organizing tips continue! The Charlotte Adams books have recently been optioned for television films.

Organize Your Corpses was re-released as an e-book and a trade paper on May 18. There's a great deal for the e-book.   You can order it HERE!

The Cluttered Corpse was reissued on June 15th and Death Loves a Messy Desk is coming July 13th. 

Coming in July:

Jordan Bingham has a tough time: she's the first person in her large family to go straight. She has learned some useful skills from her crooked relatives but she's trying to hang on to a legit job working for a curmudgeonly book collector. But of course, the bodies keep piling up.  There's lots of fun in the book collector series from Victoria Abbott.

Don't forget to check out MJ's Canadian books:  Camilla MacPhee features a fortyish widowed lawyer who runs an advocacy agency for victims of violent crime, in Ottawa, Canada's capital city. Life would be easier if she didn't have the world's worst office assistant, the world's bossiest sisters and, arguably, the world's greatest stubborn streak. If you like your mysteries a bit edgy with a side order of humor, these could be for you.  

Keep up on the news!  You can sign up for updates about MJ and Victoria plus fun and prizes through our newsletter HERE 


  1. MJ, those are gorgeous--a wonderful way to celebrate spring and vaccinations!

    1. Thanks, Lucy/Roberta! In this group we now have much to celebrate. Hugs. MJ

  2. This sounds so good, MJ! Shortbread is wonderful stuff, and with lavender? Yum! Can't wait to try it.

    1. Thanks, Molly! I know you have magic ways with shortbread and that Scottish tradition. Hugs. MJ

  3. LOVE the hat! I think it needs some flowers for your party.
    Enjoy your party.
    As to lavender--unlike most people, rather than soothing, the aroma is annoying/unpleasant to me.
    If I leave it out is the recipe good as it is?

    1. Libby, I think the shortbread would still be great without it. You could add a bit of extra lemon zest, use some icing or just keep it simple. Scents are like that - people react as individuals.

  4. I love shortbread! Lavender in food can be hit or miss for me--with a light hand, it's great, particularly with lemon or blueberry, but too much and I feel like I have a mouthful of potpourri. Might have to give this a try.

  5. I was a bit apprehensive, Mia, but was pleased in the end. You could reduce it a bit too. A mouthful of potpourri is not what we seek, lol.

  6. How interesting 🧐

  7. There used to be a lavender farm about 45 minutes away. I stumbled across a notice of their lavender festival, so I went. They had cookies, lavender sugar cookies I think, that were amazing. They also had the most delicious lavender lemonade. They provided some recipes, including the lemonade. I bought culinary lavender from them, but I've never been able to recreate their amazing lemonade, even though I use their recipe. LOL. They also offered a class on making lavender wands. This festival was probably 10 years ago, but yesterday when I was cleaning out a "junk" drawer, I found the lavender wands I made. Unfortunately that festival was their last. But I've recently found one that is not too terribly far away, maybe next year I'll go to that one.