Indulge in these lavender sugar cookies with vanilla – a delightful twist on classic sugar cookies, cut into heart shapes and perfect for any occasion!
WHY I LOVE THIS RECIPE
Keep it Simple or Make them Extra Fancy: While lavender sugar cookies are certainly special on their own, I decided to cut them into heart shapes and fancy them up with pressed edible flowers and personalized stamped messages.
Beautiful Edible Gifts: Friends, family, teachers and and even neighbors rant and rave when the kids and I give them these cookies. Amado and Valentina loved seeing “TE AMO” and other loving messages as well as their names stamped onto their heart-shaped cookies. Here are a few of the messages I included on my galletas . . .
- BE MINE?
- HUGS & BESOS
- TE ADORO
Versatile for Any Occasion: Once you know how to make these cookies, you can experiment and infuse different flavors into them, use vanilla bean to make them even fancier, and personalize messages based on the holiday or occasion. I created something similar with orange blossom and orange zest for Day of the Dead and always have “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” and “HOLA DE LOLA” stamped cookies in the freezer.
ABOUT LAVENDER SUGAR COOKIES
Sugar cookies are typically made with sugar, flour, butter, eggs, vanilla, and baking powder, baking soda, or salt. The dried lavender buds and lavender extract in these infuse a subtle flavor that pairs perfectly with vanilla and Nellie’s Free Range Unsalted Butter, making them extra special. The pressed flowers and stamped messages are optional, but definitely take them over the top. They look like something from a gourmet gift shop, but are easy for a novice baker like myself to make!
This recipe calls for two whole eggs, plus two yolks. The butter is slow-churned and contains 85% butterfat, ensuring the richest, creamiest quality butter.
Granulated Sugar: I prefer to use pure cane sugar in most of my baking recipes because it’s less processed.
Nellie’s Free Range Eggs and Unsalted Butter: From hens and cows raised with love under humane standards, high-quality eggs and butter are essential in cookies as simple as these.
Salt: Like in many drinks and desserts, a pinch of salt can enhance the flavor of other ingredients in a recipe.
Pure Vanilla Extract: Reach for pure vanilla extract whenever possible, avoiding ones with synthetic flavors or coloring.
Lavender Buds and Extract: You can find lavender flowers in the spice aisle at most grocery stores. If not, you can find both the flowers and extract in gourmet gift shops or specialty spice stores. If these are not an option, they are definitely available online.
All-Purpose Flour: Sifting flour in advance ensures there are no lumps in it when it’s added to the other ingredients.
Edible Flowers: Buy fresh edible flowers from local vendors if that’s an option, otherwise look out for them at the grocery store alongside packaged fresh herbs. See the “Tips, Tricks, and Substitutions” section below to learn how to dry and press edible flowers for recipes.
Sparkling or Turbinado Sugar: I recently discovered sparkling sugar, which looks similar to the colorful sugar used for decorating cookies and cakes, but I like to use the coarse white one. It adds a little sparkle and crunch to these cookies. If you can’t find sparkling sugar, turbinado sugar works as well. You can find this in the baking aisle of most grocery stores.
TOOLS, SUPPLIES, AND EQUIPMENT
Stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer
Nonstick baking sheets
Heart-shaped cookie cutters (flower shapes are also cute)
Silicone baking mats or parchment paper
Cookie stamp set
HOW TO MAKE
Step 1: Mix Ingredients. If using a stand mixer, use paddle attachment; if using a hand mixer, use beater attachment to mix everything.
Step 2: Knead and Chill Dough. If using a hand mixer, this entire step can be done by hand, otherwise continue using paddle attachment. It is important that your dough be cold before rolling and cutting it, which is why it should be covered well in an airtight container and refrigerated until completely firm, for at least 45 minutes or overnight if time permits.
Step 3: Roll and Cut Out Dough. Once dough is ready, roll out one ball at a time on a lightly floured surface until it is about ¼-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut as many cookies as you can, as close as possible to one another, to avoid wasting dough.
Step 4: Decorate Cookies. Place cookies onto a lined baking sheet and press several flower petals onto each one. If they’re not sticking, using your fingertip, you can lightly brush water onto the area where you will be placing each petal.
Step 5: Freeze and Bake Cookies. Next, freeze cookies on a baking sheet for at least 45 minutes. At this point, you can store cookies in an air-tight container until you’re ready to bake them, with wax paper in between each layer. Otherwise you can bake them. I like mine somewhat soft, so depending on the size (and your oven!), 8 minutes should be plenty of time for a softer texture. If you like them crunchy, they should take no longer than 15 minutes. For EXTRA crunch, wait until the edges turn golden brown.
HOW TO SERVE AND GIFT
Enjoy warm or at room temperature. These also make lovely edible gifts! You can place 3 to 5 cookies in a clear gift bag tied with baker’s twine and a sprig of lavender or a cute handmade gift tag.
HOW TO STORE
If preparing cookies in advance to bake later, once the cookies are cut, freeze them on a lined baking sheet and once frozen, store cookies in an air-tight container with wax paper in between each layer. Freezing them on the cookie sheet prevents them from sticking to one another once placed in an airtight container.
Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container for at least one week.
TIPS, TRICKS, AND SUBSTITUTIONS
- If you’ve never pressed edible flowers before, you can remove the petals from about five marigolds and lay them spaced out on a sheet of paper, then place another sheet of paper on top and enclose the two sheets between the pages of a large, heavy book. Since the petals are small, the entire drying process should take about 2-3 days. Your other option is to dry them quickly in the microwave using this method.
- Pure vanilla extract can be substituted with one vanilla bean to make these cookies extra gourmet. Vanilla bean paste would also work.
- All-purpose flour can be substituted with gluten-free flour.
- Lavender flowers can be substituted entirely with lavender extract or visa-versa if you are unable to find one or the other.
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH LAVENDER VANILLA SUGAR COOKIES?
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long will the cookies stay fresh after baking? If stored in an air-tight container, these cookies have a shelf life of at least one week.
Can I freeze sugar cookies? Yes! Sugar cookies can be frozen before baking and even after baking if you know you won’t be eating them right away.
What’s another name for sugar cookies? Legend has it that modern sugar cookies were originally called the Nazareth Sugar Cookies by German Protestants who settled in Nazareth Pennsylvania.
LOOKING FOR SWEET INSPIRATION?
- Marigold and Orange Blossom Sugar Cookies
- How to Press Edible Flowers in Seconds
- Rugelach (Cinnamon Croissant Cookies with Cream Cheese Dough)
- Easy Buñuelos
LAVENDER COOKIES WITH VANILLA RECIPE
- Stand mixer with paddle attachment or hand mixer
- Measuring spoons
- Rolling Pin
- Nonstick baking sheets
- Heart-shaped cookie cutters (flower shapes are also cute)
- Silicone baking mats or parchment paper
- Cookie stamp set
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 sticks Nellie’s Free Range Unsalted Butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Nellie’s Free Range Eggs + 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lavender buds crushed
- 2 teaspoons lavender extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour sifted + more for counter
- Flower petals pressed, optional
- Sparkling sugar for dusting optional
- If using a stand mixer, use paddle attachment; if using a hand mixer, use beater attachment to mix sugar, butter, and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy and ingredients are well incorporated, for about 5 minutes.
- Reduce speed to lowest setting and add eggs and yolks, one at a time. Next add vanilla extract, lavender buds, and lavender extract and mix until just incorporated, for about 15-30 seconds.
- If using a hand mixer, this entire step can be done by hand, otherwise continue using paddle attachment. Working in batches, add 4 cups of flour and mix just until incorporated – no need to over-mix. Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand to ensure that flour is fully incorporated. Roll into two equal sized balls, then flatten slightly by hand. Cover well in an airtight container and refrigerate until completely firm, for at least 45 minutes or overnight if time permits.
- Once dough is ready, roll out one ball on a lightly floured surface until it is about ¼-inch thick. Using a cookie cutter, cut as many cookies as you can, as close as possible to one another, to avoid wasting dough. Re-roll excess dough and continue this process until you use it all, then move onto the second batch of dough.
- Place cookies onto a lined baking sheet and stamp personal messages and / or press several flower petals onto each one. If flowers are not sticking, you can lightly brush water onto the area where you will be placing each petal with your fingertip.
- Next, put cookies in the freezer for at least 45 minutes. At this point, you can store cookies in an air-tight container until you’re ready to bake them, with wax paper in between each layer.
- When ready to bake, heat the oven to 350 degrees and sprinkle each cookie lightly with sparkling sugar and bake small cookies for about 8 minutes for a softer texture and for 12 to 15 minutes for crunchy cookies. Time varies by oven.
- If gifting, place 3 to 5 cookies in a clear cellophane bag tied with twine and a sprig of lavender or a cute gift tag.
A Note from Lola
Many thanks to Nellie’s Free Range Eggs for sponsoring this post. As always, the recipe and opinions shared about these products are my own.
To view the full lineup of Nellie’s Free Range Eggs products, visit nelliesfreerange.com.
Photography + Styling: Cacey McReavy
Lola Wiarco Dweck
Lola is a Mexican-American recipe developer, writer, and cooking instructor who loves sharing her culture with the world. Growing up in California and spending summers in Mexico, Lola celebrates her family’s Mexican recipes and vibrant culture through Lola’s Cocina.