Posted by: Erin | August 31, 2010

Adventures in Lavender

I was hanging around on Twitter the other day, and @seriouseats posted a link to their article on lavender (what to do with it, where to find it). I retweeted it and also replied that McCormick has it now in their Gourmet Collection (or they did – it’s not on their website but it did exist at one point – I haven’t had to buy it recently, so I haven’t checked the store shelves recently). One of my newer followers replied back to me that they’d never used lavender. I told him I use it more in baking than cooking, but it inspired me to poke around my usual recipe search sites (CookingLight.com and Delish.com) to look for a recipe for lavender pork chops, which I know I’ve seen, but apparently did not bookmark, and still cannot find. I then started looking through my saved recipes to see what else I had, and I thought I would post the stuff I’ve tried, as well as the others I’m planing to get around to.

Stuff I’ve tried:

Glazed Lavender Tea Cake (CookingLight.com)
I made this a few years ago for a potluck at work – a coworker’s baby shower, I believe. I remember having a hell of a time trying to find lavender. I think I’d tried to grow some from seed, but it didn’t take. At the time, I had never seen it in the store, so I ended up going to the nursery and the guy in charge was very nice, and let me pick some sprigs off of a plant, because the only one they had was in a very large pot. I also remember that I used leaves, not flowers, because I didn’t know that you cook with the leaves. I don’t know if there’s anything particularly wrong with using the leaves – no one got sick or anything, and it tasted just fine, so I guess it was okay. I may make this again, as I’ve had a couple of coworkers tell me they really liked this and it’s among their favorite of my baking experiments.

Blueberry-Lavender Jam (Delish.com)
I made this at Thanksgiving a year or so ago. I never actually got to use it on anything (the downside of having lots of holiday leftovers). I altered it a bit, as I don’t particularly like blueberries – I used frozen blackberries instead. It smelled good while I was making it, I remember that much. I imagine it would have gone well on plain scones, which I’m fairly sure was my original intent.


Lavender Sugar (WholeFoods.com)
This I made as part of a Secret Santa gift for a coworker. She’s a total foodie, so I decided to make her gifts. On the first day, I gave her citrus sea salt and lavender sugar. It basically consisted of mixing sugar and some dried lavender in a food processor. (Whole Foods had a bunch of good holiday gift type recipes on their site, and cute downloadable PDF gift tags for each.)

Lemon Sugar Cookies (Delish.com)
Because I had so much lavender sugar left from making it for my coworker (despite reducing the recipe), I decided to try it in a sugar cookie, just for kicks. (I just replaced the sugar called for in the recipe with the same amount of lavender sugar.) I picked a lemon sugar cookie recipe because I’d seen lavender and lemon paired up in another recipe somewhere (though, for the life of me, I have no idea what I was looking at). It worked out pretty well, I think. The lavender was fairly subtle – there is far more sugar than lavender in the sugar mix – but it added a nice element to the cookies.

Recipes I’d like to try out:

Side note: I got super excited last year at the farmers market when I bought some lavender-infused honey. I bought it, intending to use it mainly in warm milk, and maybe to glaze some sort of bread or biscuit-type baked good. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it nearly as much in practice as I did in theory.

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