Lavender and bay leaf shortbread

Lavender and bay leaf shortbread

Sticky Fingers Green Thumb
Tara Pearce, Tim Hillier

Whip up this shortbread when you have someone important but mean coming over (think landlord or rich aunty) – you want to impress them but you don’t want to kill yourself with a tricky recipe. Here the perfume of lavender is turned down and herbed up with everyone’s pantry staple, the bay leaf. The result is both buttery and botanical.


Quantity Ingredient
115g caster (superfine) sugar
3 bay leaves, stalks removed
2 teaspoons lavender heads, fresh or dried, plus extra for garnish
225g unsalted butter
1 lemon, zest
225g plain (all-purpose) flour
115g rice flour
salt, a pinch


  1. Blitz together the sugar, bay leaves and lavender in a food processor or spice grinder to form a powder.
  2. Setting aside 40 g of the sugar powder, add the remainder together with the butter and lemon zest to a bowl, or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and cream together until light and fluffy. Stir in the flours and salt by hand and mix gently to combine, then turn the mix out onto a clean floured work surface and knead lightly until it just comes together to form a dough. Shape the dough into a flat disc, cover it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 175°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  4. Once chilled, roll the dough out on the floured work surface into a circle approximately 2 cm thick. If you like, score the dough with a sharp knife as if you were marking out wedges on a pizza (this will help you divide the shortbread into wedges later), then sprinkle it with the reserved sugar and prick it all over with a fork.
  5. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking tray and bake for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly, then cut into wedges and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

Sweet-smelling friends

  • Evergreen lavender helps to keep aphids at a safe distance from neighbouring roses. Keep them planted together for a pest-free union.
edible flowers
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