Lavender, its not just for perfume or soap anymore

As my earlier post described I participated in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. It was awesome! I really enjoyed being creative and sending people my successes. It’s a nice surprise to now feel like I have 6 new cooking buddies somewhere out in cyber space, or maybe just sprinkled across the United States. As much as I love sending my cookies out to people, it was exciting to come home wondering if today there was box full of  cookies for me. Nothing like a little pre-Christmas anticipation.

My first batch of cookies was from Justine at http://ahalfbakedlife.blogspot.com/. She sent me Mostaccioli, a twist on an Italian chocolate spiced cookie. They were amazing, so amazing that I forgot to take a picture before I ate all of them. They were so soft, chocolate-y, spicy and flavorful without being overly sweet. I’m definitely going to make them.

I got the other two batches on the same day!

The first box I opened were Cinna-Mas Roll Cookies from Nicole at http://lifesabatch.com/. They even look like little cinnamon rolls…

See! Aren't they cute?

They even came individually wrapped so I wouldn’t have to eat them all at once. If a shortbread cookie and a cinnamon roll had a baby together, this would be the outcome. I think I might have one left. It won’t survive very long. Check out her blog because she does some really amazing work with ice and actually making her cookies look pretty as well as tasting awesome!

My final batch of cookies came from Kisha at http://kishaskitchen.com. Butter toffee cookies in a very cute little gingerbread man tin. It seems like every chewy bite had a little surprise of a piece of toffee. They were really amazing with hot chocolate!

Oh happy little gingerbread man do you have cookies inside you?

Poor little lonely cookie all by itself

Finally my cookie recipe for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. Sorry everyone I’m posting this a day late, but better late than never.  I got this recipe from a good friend, Genise Choy, when I was in AmeriCorps in Providence, RI.

Lavender Shortbread Cookies

Ingredients:
1 cup butter
½ cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp lavender
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp almond or vanilla extract (optional)

Procedure:
Cream butter and sugar.  Mix in flour, lavender, salt, and vanilla. The dough will be dry, but you should form the dough into two logs and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate for at least 2 hr.  Slice dough when its nice and cold from the refrigerator about 1/8 inch thick. If the dough gets too warm or you want to make the ends look pretty just wrap it back up and put it back in the fridge for a couple of hours. Finally bake at 350°, 10-15 min. Make sure to rest the cooling cookies on a ventilated tray or they won’t be quite as crisp.

My pretty little lavender cookies

I encourage trying them with tea!

I sent my cookies to:

Joanna at http://meatlessmostdays.com/.

Sarah at http://cookergirl.blogspot.com/.

Lea at http://healthycoconutblog.com/.

So check them out too!

Overall it was a really wonderful experience and I’m looking forward to the swap again next year. Hopefully by then I’ll have some other new and exciting recipes to try.

Finally special thanks to my lab here for taste-testing the first batch of these cookies.

Until later life is short, lick the spoon!

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