Lavender biscuits


It was getting dark and most of the shops were closing for the day and although I wanted to check out the beautiful  Delft Pottery shop at the end of the road, I made yet another stop at one of over 250 bridges in Amsterdam to take a sunset picture of the canal, when I saw this outdoor covered style flower shop raised on the canal bank. I was drawn to it, and then immediately taken by bunches of dry flowers hanging down from and covering up the entire shop ceiling. The staff were getting ready to  go home, while I tried to take pictures well aware of annoyed looks coming my way. So, I had to move quickly around the shop and I picked a few gorgeous bunches to take with me, but came out with only one, a bunch of dry lavender. I realised that maybe, just maybe only that one, out of all I picked, had a small chance of surviving the "gentle" baggage handling at the airport.  

And it did. The scent of lavender has been spreading all over my house since I came back and I am moving it to the oven now, marrying the Dutch lavender and the Provençal biscuit recipe. 

100 g unsalted butter, room temperature
50 g caster sugar
125 g plain flour
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp ground almonds
1 tsp orange flower water
1 tsp dried lavender flowers
1 egg

1 egg yolk for glazing

Mix the butter and sugar to make it pale and fluffy, add the flour and cornflour, then the rest of the ingredients and keep mixing until well combined. It could be done in a food processor in no time.  Dust the  dough with flour, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 190 C/375 F/gas 5, butter a baking tray and roll out the dough, not too thin. Cut out the biscuit shapes; if you are using a 6 cm (2 1/2 in) round cutter, you should have at least 16 biscuits. I used 5 cm and had few more.Glaze them with egg yolk mixed with a dash of water and bake for around 12 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave to harden for further 5 minutes. Let them to cool and then move to a wire rack until cold.

Lavender could be used to add an extra flour to icing sugar; put the dried flowers into a small cotton bag and then place in an icing sugar jar. It also goes well with cooked apples, pears and quinces.

This recipe was adopted  from The Provençal Cookbook by G Gedda and  Marrie-Pierre Moine. 

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