Though I’m not a fan of lavender in personal care/grooming products — its herby odor just doesn’t mesh with my Personal Scent Profile — I love it in consumables. My first taste of lavender shortbread was at Apollo Coffee. At the time, I was working at the Charter School; the fourth-grade class took a field trip to the coffee shop to (what else?) learn how to conduct themselves appropriately in public. Each kid got a mug of hot cocoa — moltenly rich and sludgy at the bottom — and a square of lavender shortbread. I skipped the cocoa, but nabbed a shortbread. Perfectly square, crisp, and speckled with large-grain salt, it nailed the salty-sweet balance with precision I’ve since witnessed only rarely.
Months later, I received a tin of lavender shortbread cookies for Christmas. Heart-shaped, these tiny cookies were softer, almost with the texture of compressed sand. I kept the tin in the freezer for True Cookie Emergencies; the stash lasted me through the spring, when the rain subsided and the park filled with dog-walkers and lanky teens in canvas shoes, and my baked-goods hankerings tended toward lighter, fruitier offerings.
This morning’s shortbread was a beautiful specimen. My boss claimed that the shortbread was “a little under baked, but still edible,” but such a claim was just modesty. The chewier texture, coupled with the cookies’ larger-than-standard thickness, rendered these shortbreads more like bars*. Made with all organic ingredients, the cookies feature lavender honey and culinary lavender, and are topped with a lavender sea salt. Really, my review could be reduced to a single word: divine.
*If you’re from the Midwest, you know what I’m talking about. If not, consult with your nearest Minnesotan.