From lavender and rose petals to rosemary and pine needles, it’s easy to up your shortbread game with these foraged aromatics. Or just enjoy this dairy-free recipe as is – it’s a winner.
Fancy handmade shortbread can be a beautiful gift from the heart. Make it even more special by adding foraged aromatics. This makes a respectable plateful or fills a small biscuit tin. Double or triple the recipe if you need more.
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil
Zest of 1 large lemon
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1-3 tablespoons very finely chopped wild aromatics (see suggestions below)
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
2. Whisk the flour and icing sugar together, then rub in the coconut oil. Add the lemon zest, vanilla essence and aromatics, and mix gently with your hands until the dough holds together.
3. Roll into small balls and press them down onto a baking sheet, then bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the tops of the biscuits are browning around the edges. Place on a rack to cool, then store in an airtight container.
You can try lavender spikes, rosemary flowers, kawakawa (fresh is fine, but dried or wilted for a day or two is more flavourful), dried scented pelargonium leaves, mānuka or kānuka leaves, pine, spruce or fir tips, heavily scented dried or fresh rose petals, fennel flowers and/or pollen, pink jasmine flowers (these are quite mild in shortbread – you might want to up the quantity to 3 tablespoons), citrus flowers, or dried or fresh rosemary leaves. (Dried is best, but watch out, they’re strong! Stick to 1 tablespoon for a start.)
- Lavender and dried rosemary are particularly strong, so you’ll want to use them sparingly.
- Kānuka generally gives a stronger flavour than mānuka does.
- If your shortbread biscuits are going to be eaten in short order, ice them, then sprinkle foraged petals on top while the icing’s still soft.
- You can also pack shortbread into a container lined with scented pelargonium leaves, so they absorb the delicious aroma.