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LAist Cookie Exchange: Lavender Lemon Cookies

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This is the summer cookie that works well in winter - especially in LA, where women are still wearing flip-flops on Christmas Eve! At every holiday party, the dessert table is full of heavy chocolate confections, heady alcoholic affairs (figgy pudding!) and dense fruit-cake-y type items. If I'm just not up for making sugar cookies (and the insane hours it takes to decorate them all!), I make these instead. They're lighter, fresher. Oh so yummy and oh so different from everything else on the table. Candy cane confections be damned!

With their lavender scent, delicious lemon syrup and sparkly sugar, these cookies are extra-special. I know it looks like a lot of steps, but trust me, these cookies are worth it! Bring these to a holiday or New Year's party and everyone will thank you for bringing a great alternative to all the heavy chocolately stuff of the season. They're also fantastic with tea!

1 tablespoon dried culinary "Provence" lavender buds
1 tablespoon plus 3/4 cups sugar
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 1/4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Lavender lemon syrup (recipe below)
Lavender Sprinkling sugar (recipe below)

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Combine the lavender and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in a spice grinder and pulse until finely ground. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the butter and the remaining 3/4 cup sugar. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in the egg, lemon zest, and vanilla. Sometimes I double or even triple the recipe as one batch is never enough!

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter miexture and beat until blended. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and referigerate for 3 hours or overnight, until the dough is well chilled.

Prepare the syrup.

Prepare the sprinkling sugar.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

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Slice the logs into 1/2-inch coins and place on the prepared baking sheets. Using a pastry brush, generously coat the top side of the cookies with the syrup. Dust with the sprinkling sugar. Bake for 8 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.

Lavender Lemon Syrup
Combine 1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender buds and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a spice grinder and pulse until finely ground. Transfer to a small saucepan. Stir in 3/4 cup of fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 tablespoon of grated lemon zest and 3/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook for 1 minute, or until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool. If you aren't going to use this right away, you can put a lid on your container and store in your fridge. Should be good for about a week.

Lavender Sprinkling Sugar
Combine 1/2 teaspoon of dried culinary lavender buds and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a spice grinder and pulse until findely ground. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the remaining sugar. You could set this aside too, if you're making it all in advance. This sugar is also scrumptious on many things that have nothing to do with these cookies! I put it in coffe & tea and use it in other baking. It's really good for making meringues!