Lavender Shortbread

I was treated to not one, but two different lavender desserts while in the lush state of Washington.  The first was a devine lavender cookie from Blackbird Bakery located on Winslow Way of Bainbridge Island.  It was enjoyed outside sitting at an old fashioned concrete chess table under a shade tree.  The second was from Three Girls Bakery in the Post Aly of Pikes Place Market while watching the world walk by. 

Knowing I was making lavender lemonaide for an upcoming bridal shower, I immediately decided another layer was going toadded to the menu.  After all, I already had lavender flowers in the house.  A few internet searches later, I found the one I was ready to try.

Look a the beauty of the lavender flowers with the bright yellow lemon zest.  Love.

This was my first attempt in shortbread.  I was suprised at the lack of ingredients and the look of simplicity reading the instrustions.  Then I was taken by surprise by how few cookies it made and quickly decided that another double batch was in oder. 

They were so yummy, I decided that they were going to be part of my take-home treats for our guests.

Thank God for good neighbors…I was two eggs short for the last batch.  To reward her for  her generosity, she was presented with the final product.  She came back to thank me!Let me tell you why you need to make these for your next party: Rolling out the dough to make the cut outs is like playing with stress releiving playdough.  No joke.  In the midst of party planning, food prep and house cleaning, the scent of lavender and the slow, intentional motions forming perfect hearts and flowers was so calming.  And if it can calm my craziness, just imagine what it can do for you.

Eat.  And enjoy every bite.

sam

Lavender Shortbread

¾ cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp dried lavender
10 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1 tsp lemon zest
1¾ cup  flour
3 large egg yolks
1 cup  sugar, for coating

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  • Gently mix the powdered sugar and lavender together in a bowl
  • In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, lemon zest and lavender/sugar until smooth
  • Add the flour and mix until well combined
  • Add the egg yolks and mix just until the eggs are fully incorporated
  • Chill the dough in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes, not letting the dough get too firm
  • Roll the dough out to 1.5cm thickness
  • Pick your favorite cookie cutter and go to town
  • Dip each cut out into the granulated sugar, coating all sides
  • Bake on the parchment lined pan for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly golden around the edges

Makes about 12-15  small cookies.

Recipe adapted from this blog post from Milk and Cookies.

Bella Umbrella

People who hate to be rained on, visitors of Seattle, lovers of umbrellas: do I have a store for you!  Bella Umbrella.  I recently found this lovely gem during our family vacation and fell in love.  In LOVE, I tell you.

It can be found on the corner of 1st and Pine, just a (steep) block up from the Pikes Place Market.  We initially walked passed it on our way to the Space Needle.  The Banker and I both noticed it, but forged ahead to the next landmark destination.  But neither of us could resist the temptation on the walk back and were lured into the store.

We were greeted by colorful umbrellas everywhere.  Hanging from the ceiling, perched on the floor, waiting in umbrella stands just begging to be opened.   Everywhere.  The kids quickly found their table located conveniently in the front of the store.  It’s a kids dream to be able to open every umbrella inside.  They found Disney Characters and Hello Kitty; bugs and animals, bright colors and see through umbrellas.  BabyFace selected Super Man and Marshmellow went with the adorable pink ruffle.  Very cute.

The Banker was drawn to the travel umbrella section.  He found some nifty umbrellas that folded very small, were very light and could open AND close with a push of a button in a rainbow of colors.  He ultimately selected a standard black umbrella with a handsome wooden handle (and a lifetime warranty).  The handle cuts down on the size and adds to the weight, but it definitely has the classy factor any banker would desire.

And then there was me.  I was a kid in a candy store wanting one of everything.  Adorable lace parasol?  Yes please.  Super sleek pagoda?  Of course.  Fashion umbrella with fancy floral layers and jeweled handles?  Sounds dreamy.  A ruffled umbrella in bright pink?  Absolutely!

But we had a one umbrella per person limit.  Which even that might be extreme, given our climate at home really isn’t known for rainy days.  But who cares?  This store is awesome!

What to do?  What to do?

Ah…the Spanish umbrella adorned with pale pink polka dots with a dull grey to really make them pop.  Atop is a dangerous looking walking tip.  Below is the embroidered leather curved handle with even more polka dots.  To finish the look, a large bow hangs on the side of the opened umbrella.  I’m not going to lie; it was a bit of a splurge.  But the umbrella spoke to me and said, “Take me home.”  So I did.  But to justify myself, it also has UV protection, so can totally double for a parasol.

The really cool thing?  They rent umbrella’s too!  If you’re planning an event where rain might be in the forecast and you need umbrellas to usher your guests to and fro…this is the place.  Or if you want your dutiful brides maids to carry umbrellas dripping in white feathers…this is the place.  Umbrellas really would be awesome in a group photo too.  I’m just saying.

Now, Bella Umbrella might not be the reason to travel to Seattle.  But if you’re in the area, you really should just stop in and play for a while.  Go ahead…open a few of them, inside!