Lavender Shortbread – Prepped: Vanessa Kimbell

I am so glad I’ve finally made these – Have no idea what has taken me so long but they are fabulous.

I have got to know Vanessa Kimbell through Twitter and had a lovely telephone chat about this time last year about her upcoming cook book, Prepped. Vanessa is a real foodie and like me, incredibly busy. She decided to change her life in a year, write a cookbook and see how it went. The idea of the book is that you can prepare one meal while preparing another meal for freezing at the same time. This is great for me, I always envision my freezer being full of ready cooked homemade meals but the reality is I barely get time to cook what we are eating that day.

When the book arrived, it was just as beautiful as Vanessa had said. I’m a sucker for a bright pink cover but inside it is just as good. There are 11 different chapters sectioned into different foods. Eg Vanilla, Plum, Elderflower, Rhubarb. So far, I have cooked from the Chocolate (surprise!), Lemon and Lavender.


The first thing I had to do was pour a drink – so I did with the help of the Lemon Syrup recipe (except I had no lemons so used limes instead)

Ingredients and instructions on how to make Lemon Syrup can be found on Vanessa’s Blog.

I had friends round for coffee last Friday and family round for tea so in my best Desperate Housewife mode, I served Homemade Lavender Shortbread (Please don’t be fooled, I normally give people Asda’s own cookies!)

To Make Lavender Shortbread:
200g Lavender Sugar (200g Caster sugar and 2 tsbp dried Lavender kept in a sterilised jar for between 2-6 weeks)
500g Butter
750g Plain Flour

1. Sieve the lavender from the sugar and cream the butter with the sugar until white and fluffy.
2. Add the flour and mix well before turning onto a work surface.
3. If the mix is too crumbly add a teaspoon of water and remix.
4. Roll out to about 1.5cm and cut out into whatever shape you like.
5. Place the biscuits onto a baking tray and bake at 150C for 18-20 mins
6. Cool on a wire rack and sprinkle with more sugar (use lavender sugar if you have made any more)

Can be frozen as dough.

What I thought and learnt:

Makes loads so its well worth the effort of making lavender sugar up in advance.
I had only made my lavender sugar up 2 weeks before so the lavender taste was quite subtle which I wanted.
These biscuits would be lovely with just normal caster sugar.
They taste really lovely and buttery.
I had to bake for at least 22mins.
I embossed the biscuits before cooking with a flower pattern.

Its was an important day in St Helens last Saturday. Saints Rugby Team played (and sadly lost) Leeds in the Super League Final – In honour of this event, I made some of the cookies rugby shaped.