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3 Lavender Infused Baked Treats

I’ve always felt that Lavender is one of those scents that draw up feelings of nostalgia, taking you back to some bygone era. Calming, refined, and fresh smelling, it makes me think of some of the loveliest gardens in Europe, and that feeling of being at complete ease among the great outdoors. I can’t get enough of it!

Related to the mint family, this finely scented flower originates from Europe, and portions of Eastern Africa, Western Asia, and India, and can come in shades of pink, white, purple, and blue, with the most popular variety being English Lavender.

Used for many purposes, Lavender is not only known as an excellent repellant for irritating critters such as mosquitos, but it’s also widely used to freshen up homes. In fact, since the middle ages (and probably before that), Lavender’s been used to rid homes of stale smelling air, by incorporating its essential oils and flowers into cleaning methods.

Going further back, the ancient Greeks and Romans widely used Lavender as part of their bathing rituals, and commonly used the flower’s oils to scent their laundry, whereas Egyptians used Lavender as part of their mummification ceremonies, as well as for body care. It comes as no surprise that this fragrant plant has remained a popular perfume choice throughout the ages.

A beautiful addition to any garden, Lavender not only smells divine, but for eons, has been used for a variety of medical-related purposes such as improving memory, aiding upset stomachs, countering the awful feelings of motion sickness, helping to reduce pain, and as an antiseptic, just to name a few. Lavender’s also widely known for its therapeutic properties since its soothing scent lowers stress and anxiety levels, making it a popular choice in spas and healing spaces.

Along with possessing miraculous healing properties and wonderful smell, Lavender also happens to taste great when added (conservatively) into baked goods and marinades, taking a regular recipe and turning it into something special — and, might I say, elegant.

When using Lavender for culinary purposes, it’s important to know that although most varieties are edible, not all taste good, and in fact, some are quite intense. And so, for best results, it’s advised to use English Lavender for consumption since it’s flavor is milder and sweeter than some other varieties that should probably be harvested for their essential oils only. After all, the intent is to enjoy just a slight essence of Lavender, and not a potpourri flavored disaster.

Incorporating Lavender into recipes is incredibly easy — just treat it like any other herb in your garden. Simply Pluck a few sprigs of English Lavender straight from the plant, and incorporate the fresh or dried flower buds into your cooking for an exceptionally unique flavor — just be sure they’re free of any chemicals or pesticides. Alternatively, you can buy pre-dried culinary grade Lavender flowers online or in select retail food shops.

Let’s explore some easy recipes

With a bit of experimentation, I’ve taken some classic recipes and incorporated a bit of lavender to them. The outcome was a delightful flavor that was both bright and unusual, yet, incredibly tasty, creating a delicate floral note that balanced wonderfully with ingredients such as citrus and honey.

To explore these recipes for yourself, check out my top three Lavender infused baked treats for a bit of inspiration that is sure to delight:

Orange Lavender Loaf

The floral notes of lavender perfectly complement the sunny flavor of oranges in a twist on this classic recipe. Grab a slice for breakfast, or enjoy during your coffee break, this loaf cake will be a hit.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • juice of 1 large orange (approx ½ cup)
  • ½ cup room temperature milk
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted softened butter
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon of dried lavender
  • 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • Pinch of salt

Glaze:

  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • juice of half of a large orange (approx ¼ cup)

Loaf Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C)

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together
In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and butter until creamy.
Slowly add in sugar to the egg mixture, and continue to blend.
Add in orange juice and continue mixing.
Add in milk and mix.
Slowly combine flour mixture.
Add lavender* and orange zest.
Gently mix until smooth.
Pour batter into a greased loaf tin.

Bake on the middle rack for 60 minutes until top is golden brown**

* This measurement is for dried Lavender. If you’re using fresh Lavender, decrease the amount since it’s flavor is more intense.
**Test with a toothpick to ensure it’s done.

Glaze Directions:

Combine icing sugar with orange juice, and whisk until smooth and creamy.
Poke small holes in the top of the loaf using a toothpick
Pour glaze on top of the loaf while still warm.
Let rest for half an hour before enjoying.

Honey Lavender Scones

(Makes 10 - 12 scones)

An elegant take on traditional British scones, eat them warm with a generous dab of butter and golden honey, accompanied by a nice cup of hot tea for a teatime fit for royalty.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¾ cup of heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon dried Lavender
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C)

Combine flour, baking powder, and salt until evenly mixed.
Add cold butter chunks and mix until it looks like bread crumbs*
Make a pit in the middle of the mixture.
Pour the honey, milk, and a beaten egg into the pit.
Mix lightly together until moist**
Add in Lavender*** and mix until dough is thick and sticky in texture
Drop rounded scone portions into an ungreased baking sheet****
Refrigerate for 15 minutes (to maintain shape)
Brush with cream

Bake on the middle rack for 15 minutes, or until golden brown (keep an eye on them).

*Breakdown butter with your hands or two forks.
** Mix with your hands
*** This measurement is for dried Lavender. If you’re using fresh Lavender, decrease the amount since it’s flavor is more intense.
*** About the size of a generous tablespoon

White Chocolate Cookies with Lemon & Lavender

(Makes 24 cookies)

A tasty treat for the whole family, my son just loves these cookies, and I intend to make them again and again. Mixing the decadence of white chocolate in a traditional cookie batter along with the addition of fresh lemon zest, and subtle lavender undertones make this flavor shine.

Ingredients:

  • 11 tablespoons (⅔ cup) softened butter
  • ⅓ cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • Juice from half a lemon
  • 1 ½ tablespoons dried Lavender
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 ½ white chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F (175° C)

Combine softened butter to both white and brown sugar
Mix until fully blended and fluffy
Add egg, Lavender*, lemon zest, and lemon juice and mix until even
In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt, and then combine into the main mixture
Fold in white chocolate chips
Place tablespoon-sized dollops of dough onto an ungreased baking pan
Flatten gently (otherwise, you’ll end up with ball-shaped cookies)

Bake on the middle rack for 10-13 minutes and remove when edges turn golden
Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes

* This measurement is for dried Lavender. If you’re using fresh Lavender, decrease the amount since it’s flavor is more intense.

It’s certainly fun trying out new recipes, and when equipped with unique ingredients such as Lavender, you can explore your own creative combinations to wow your friends and family and fill their tummies with joy. Try infusing a touch of Lavender into your next baking adventure, and relish in the results.

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