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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Lavender and Orange Blossom Cookies (Graybeh)

Melissa Clark  
  Time 35 minutes 
 Yield 2 dozen cookies 

These buttery, shortbread-like cookies have a particularly crunchy texture that comes from clarified butter. If you’ve never clarified butter, this recipe is a good place to start, and the process is extremely simple (though you do have to plan it several hours ahead). If you’re not a lavender fan, feel free to leave it out. And for a more familiar flavor, substitute vanilla extract for the orange blossom water. These cookies keep well, so you can make them up to a week in advance.

Featured in: Maureen Abood’s ‘Rose Water & Orange Blossoms’ Takes You To Lebanon. 

¾ cup/180 grams clarified butter, at room temperature (see note)
1 ¾ cups/215 grams confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons/1 gram dried lavender, ground to a powder
½ teaspoon/3 grams kosher salt
1 teaspoon/ 5 milliliters orange blossom water
1 ¾ cups/228 grams all-purpose flour, more as needed

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees with a rack in the center of the oven. Line two sheet pans (not dark metal) with parchment paper.
2. In an electric mixer, beat the butter on high for about 6 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add 3/4 cup (92 grams) confectioners’ sugar, lavender and salt and beat another 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and with the mixer on low speed, add orange blossom water and mix to combine.
3. Add flour to butter 1/2 cup (about 65 grams) at a time, until dough is crumbly and slightly dry but still able to hold together when squeezed, adding additional flour if necessary.
4. Divide dough into quarters and press each into a long narrow log about 1 inch high and 1 inch wide. With a sharp knife, cut into log diagonally to make diamond-shaped cookies 1 to 2 inches long. Use a spatula to transfer cookies to sheet pans, spaced about 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Cookies should be golden brown at the edges.
5. Sift remaining confectioners’ sugar over baked cookies while still warm. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

To clarify butter, melt 2 sticks (1 cup) over low heat. Pour the butter into a metal bowl and chill for at least 3 to 4 hours, until solid (or up to a week). Pop butter out of the bowl (you may have to warm the bottom of the bowl slightly with your palms so the butter unsticks itself). Rinse butter under cold water, removing the white layer on the top and bottom. Pat butter dry with paper towels.

Adapted from “Rose Water & Orange Blossoms” by Maureen Abood

 Nutritional analysis per serving (24 servings)
135 calories; 7 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 2 grams monounsaturated fat; 16 grams carbohydrates; 8 grams sugars; 1 gram protein; 19 milligrams cholesterol; 48 milligrams sodium


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