Gardening is a favorite summertime activity for my children. In fact, they enjoy it so much that we readily grow herbs and mushrooms indoors all winter. Whether indoors or outdoors, our gardening endeavors always include lavender. Lavender and White Chocolate Cookies have become a family favorite.
Lavender is a hearty plant that’s very drought resistant. It’s a perennial (which means it will grow each year after you plant it…BONUS) that does well in an herb garden or in a container. I put mulch in my garden bed after the first frost to protect the plants in the winter.
Harvesting and drying the flowers is easy.
To dry lavender, I simply harvest it when the buds first begin to open. Next, I hang them upside down in small clusters where warm air circulates well. In addition to being beautiful, lavender flowers retain their fragrance when dried. The smell reminds me of home and of my childhood. Lavender is comforting and, according to many, also has medicinal properties. Even if you are new to drying herbs for use later, this is great place to start.
Lavender is edible.
I use lavender buds raw in salads, add them to soup and stews, brew them into tea, and bake them into cookies and biscuits.
Lavender White Chocolate Cookies began with a recipe my mother acquired from an herb shop in New Hampshire’s Monadnock Region. I modified it by adding white chocolate morsels and changing the oil. It has become a favorite on our house.
Making Lavender and White Chocolate Cookies is simple. You might even have the pantry ingredients on hand. You’ll need:
- 8 tablespoons of salted butter
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar
- 2 tsp dried lavender buds
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- 1 cup white chocolate morsels
I heat the butter until just softened. You can use salted butter from the store, or make your own. Making butter is a fun and simplistic project for children of all ages.
Next I add the coconut oil, egg, white sugar, baking soda and cornstarch. After thoroughly combining everything, I mix in the lavender buds. From there I add the flour, mix well, and fold in the chocolate morsels. The dough should have a similar consistency to chocolate chip cookie dough.
Drop rounded spoonfuls onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 375 for about 12 minutes. I leave the cookies on the baking sheet to “set up” for 5 or 10 minutes then transfer the cookies to a wire rack.
If you don’t feel like growing your own, I suggest a Farmer’s Market to source your lavender.
Do not buy lavender from craft stores or online that isn’t “culinary” lavender. Some lavender may be coated with preservatives to retain the color, or chemically treated to enhance it’s fragrance.
The New Hampshire Seacoast features lots of fabulous and diverse Farmer’s Markets. You may see mature potted lavender, fresh cut lavender, dried lavender bunches, or dried buds.
As Audrey Hepburn once said “To plant a garden, is to believe in tomorrow.” As I watch my children dig, cultivate, and grow (both plants and themselves) I hope they can hold onto the simplicity of childhood…like lavender and white chocolate cookies.