Lemon Lavender Pastry Cookies

If you haven't noticed, I've been a little MIA around here lately. Let me explain...

First, I've been consciously taking a step back from my blog over the past few months. When I first starting blogging -- almost two years ago -- I was posting every day. That is, until I had built up my recipe catalog. Ever since, I've been going to four days per week, to three days, to two, and so on. Through December, I was down to once per week. Now that I feel a little refreshed from the holidays, I do plan to keep posting, albeit not as regularly as I once did.

In fact, I have a few recipes lined up around the corner! I have a few exciting things in store for the month of February...so stay tuned :-)

With all that said, I'm approaching my three year wedding anniversary -- wahoo! I've also gained a solid 10 pounds over the last three years, some of which I'm sure is a result of M&M. I took the last few weeks to cleanse myself and stay away from sugar and junk food! It's been tough for me, but I'm seeing a little improvement in the way I feel. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Now that all that stuff is out of the way, let's talk about these vegan Lemon Lavender Pastry Cookies. These cookies are a weird hybrid between a pastry and shortbread cookie. A friend came to visit us and we took a trip down to Savannah. Naturally, we had some macarons and she bought a lovely lemon lavender shortbread...it was deelish! (This all took place pre-cleanse. Hence the need for a cleanse, haha.) I've been waiting to make a lemon lavender something -- and this recipe was born.

Also, who doesn't like flaky pastry?!

This technique is borrowed from my puff pastry recipe, as seen here. You totally do not have to fold your dough and wait -- but your cookies will not be as flaky. Also, I froze the vegan butter and grated it. You don't have to do that either; you can use a pastry blender with very cold butter.

Vegan Lemon Lavender Pastry Cookies
1 c. vegan butter, frozen and grated
1 3/4 c. organic flour
2 T. arrowroot, other type of starch (corn, tapioca, etc.)
1/2 c. + 2 T. vegan powdered sugar
1 T. vanilla-infused bourbon (learn more about infusing here!)*
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1 T. dried lavender, culinary grade
pinch of sea salt
1/4 c. cold water

*If you want these cookies a smidge more on the lemon side, add a little lemon extract/oil to this vanilla.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, starch, powdered sugar, lavender, salt, and lemon zest. Add in the grated butter. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers (I opted for fingers), knead the butter into the dry ingredients until it resembles a meal. Add in the remaining liquid ingredients (vanilla, lemon juice,  and water) and knead it until the dough comes together.

On a well-floured surface,  roll out the dough into a rectangular shape if you can.  When you're ready, fold the dough length-wise into a crepe or burrito shape.  After, fold it two more times, into a little square.  You should be able to still see some butter spots.  Wrap it in plastic and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.

When you're ready, preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking trays with parchment -- this recipe yields about two dozen cookies. Roll out your dough (don't unlayer it!) and cut out your cookies. You can roll out your dough one more time, but I don't recommend rolling it out a third time. Add sprinkles or extra lavender if you want. Bake for 16-20 minutes. Mine took closer to 20 minutes. Just watch them -- you do want them to be browned on top a bit.

Allow them to cool for five minutes on the pan and then transfer them to a cooling rack. 

Enjoy these cookies with your tea or to impress a crowd. If you need a few Valentine's Day ideas in the mean time, check here!