Coming May 1st, we may have to rename this blog. The kitchen is about to get a lot less coveted. No, I am not forcing Steven to give up his brewing, and I am certainly not giving up cooking. On May 1st, we will be New Jersians with a whole house to our selves! And a whole kitchen to myself once Steven sets up his basement brewery! Now, before you judge me and presume that I have banished my fiance to the basement, know he is thrilled about his new brew space. In fact, Steven decided halfway through our house search (which took all of one day) that a basement was absolutely necessary. Plus, he’s getting a fermentation chamber so he’s plenty happy.
Why I am sharing all of this? Because I feel the need to explain why we haven’t posted anything for a while. It’s been a busy few weeks, and we are certainly going to be running around crazy for some time. So bear with us, and know that once we are set up in the new kitchen the brews and dishes will be churning out like clockwork. Tasty tasty clockwork.
Until then, we enjoyed baking these salted lavender shortbread bars this past Sunday. They were nice and easy to throw together while brewing a fresh English Bitter. They would actually go great with a Bitter or a cup of English tea. I would choose the beer…
Salted Lavender Shortbread Bars
Adapted and veganized from Evil Shenanigan’s Salted Honey Lavender Shortbread recipe
Makes 16-20 small bars
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tsp of culinary lavender buds
1/4 tsp of lavender extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons corn starch
3/4 cup chilled Earth Balance vegan butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon Agave
2 tablespoon of maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon flaked sea salt, or to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 11 baking pan with canola oil, and set aside.
Add sugar and lavender buds to the large bowl of a food processor, and pulse a few times until the lavender buds are slightly broken and the sugar is very fragrant. Next, add lavender extract, flour, corn starch, and Earth Balance and pulse a few times until butter starts to break up.
Add the kosher salt, Agave, maple syrup, and vanilla to the food processor, drizziling the Agave and maple syrup around the entire bowl to prevent clumping. Pulse several more times until everything is combined but there are still small, pea-sized pieces of Earth Balance.
Press the dough into the greased pan until firmly packed and sprinkle with flaked sea salt. These bars will be thin in a 9 x 11 pan, but if you want to make them thicker simply use a smaller baking pan and increase the cooking time by a few minutes.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes until the bars are starting to turn golden. Be careful not to overbake these! They firm up signficantly after sitting for a few days, so you want them to still be soft and slightly browned when they come out of the oven. Store bars in an airtight container for up to a week.
Lucas loves some shortbread!