Now I am one of those people who finds baking relaxing. There is something about measuring the flour, beating the butter and sugar, to say nothing of the warm smells that fill the house, that is almost as good as a meditation sequence. Baking also requires concentration, and a good podcast or radio drama to go with it.
Anyway, you may have spotted in the last post, a tube of lavender extract paste in the shopping basket. I’ve been meaning to bake with this for ages, and finally got around to it on Saturday afternoon. The recipe I used was adapted from the website of Taylor and Colledge who make the paste. I halved the quantities, which looked huge for the quantity I wanted to make. It is a basic shortbread style recipe, and very easy.
Beat together 210g butter with 110g of sugar – I used a mix of caster and soft brown this time around. Mix in 1/8 teaspoon of lavender paste and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste. Add 190g plain flour with a good pinch of salt, until the dough starts to come together. If it doesn’t, use your hands to bring the dough together.
Place the biscuit dough in cling film (Glad Wrap or whatever you call it where you are) and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Pre-heat the oven at 175C. Line a flat baking tray with baking/greaseproof paper. Take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll it out with a rolling pin. Cut out the biscuits using your favourite cutter, and lay them out on prepared tray. Bake for about 15 minutes – this will really depend on your oven. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with a cup of tea.
Verdict: well, while they were great biscuits (nice and buttery and more-ish), you couldn’t really taste the lavender. Next time I would add a bit more, but obviously you don’t want it to be overpowering, so it pays to go easy and build up. They were, however, perfect to munch while reading.
Title of the post comes from this quote from Martha Stewart – I think baking cookies is equal to Queen Victoria running an empire. There’s no difference in how seriously you take the job, how seriously you approach your whole life.
You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram @thistleandkiwis. As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days. If you want to get in touch, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org