lorelle’s lavender shortbread cookies

A stack of lorelle's lavender shortbread cookies on a square plate with several sprigs of lavender.

Lemon-lavender shortbread cookies are my friend Lorelle’s signature dessert offering. She developed this recipe for the annual lavender festival on Vashon Island held at Fox Farm. The periwinkle lavender buds mixed into the dough manage to capture the essence of the lavender blooming on a warm summer day. These cookies keep well in the freezer and make a simple scoop of sorbet or vanilla ice cream a celebration.

lorelle's lavender shortbread cookies

Serves: About 40 (2-inch) cookies
Cooking Time: 12 minutes


  • ¾ pound butter (3 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons dried lavender buds
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Glaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice



To make the cookies, place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the pastry blade and pulse until blended. Add the vanilla, lemon peel, and lavender buds. Mix until well combined, but do not beat to the point where the mixture is fluffy.


Add the flour and salt and pulse until the dough comes together. The idea at this point is to blend the ingredients well but not to overmix them, as that can result in tough cookies.


Place the dough on a floured board. Divide it roughly in half, and shape each piece into a flat disk. Cover in plastic wrap and chill for a minimum of 30 minutes.


Heat the oven to 350°F.


Flour your work surface generously, then roll each piece of dough to about ¼ inch thick; cut the cookies using a 2-inch cookie cutter—round or square, fluted or plain-edged. In a pinch I will cut the cookies using a glass with a 2-inch circumference rim dusted with flour.


Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until they just start to brown on the bottom. (Watch that you don’t overcook them.) Let the cookies cool on a rack.


To make the glaze, whisk the powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Add a few more drops of juice, if necessary, to make it brushing consistency. Brush the glaze on the cooled cookies, and let it soak in.


Store the cookies in an airtight container once the glaze has hardened.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Melinda Larson
    August 12, 2017 at 3:46 am

    Made this amazing shortbread recipe with culinary lavender that I had purchased at the San Juan Island Lavender Farm. Our daughter, Lindsey was married to her best friend, Kevin just about 2 weeks ago at Roche Harbor on San Juan Island. I purchased a cookie press with Lindsey and Kevin’s names on a heart shaped cookie. I made enough for favors for each guest. They were a hit!
    Turned out perfectly and were so delicious. Thanks Lorelle and Carol!

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