Lemon-Lavender Cookies to celebrate Our Lady's feast
Lavender: Mary's Drying Plant
The Legend of Lavender
After Mary had washed Jesus' clothes and was looking for a place to hang them to dry, she saw a gray bush of lavender and on its branches she spread the snow-white baby clothes. The sun and the wind dried the clothes and when Mary came to gather them, the clothes smelled sweet and clean and the bushes were fragrant with a sweet scent that lavender now has. It is said that the fragrance which came from the earthly body of the Son of God was transferred to the plant, giving it its unique scent. ~ Source
Lavender was said to be one of the plants most loved by the Blessed Virgin because it represented purity, cleanliness and virtue.
Lemon Lavender Cookies
I purchased the cookies pictured above at a local Lavender Farm last week, and they were a perfect afternoon treat to give the kids on the (traditional) feast of the Immaculate Heart this past Wednesday, after sharing the legend of lavender with them.
Since the whole month of August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and since I happened to pick a bunch of lavender as well, I think we might try and make some more of our own using a recipe from Better Homes & Gardens.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon dried lavender buds, ground with mortar and pestle
- 1 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
1. In a medium bowl, combine flour, ground lavender buds, finely shredded lemon peel, and salt. In a large mixing bowl beat the 3/4 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add 1 cup powdered sugar. Beat until combined. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour mixture.
2. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 10-inch-long log. Wrap log in plastic wrap or waxed paper. Chill for 2 to 24 hours or until firm.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut roll into 1/4-inch slices. (We will probably then cut out heart shapes with a cookie cutter.) Place slices 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake in preheated oven about 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Optional Frosting & Garnish:
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
Dried lavender buds
Thin strips of lemon peel
In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup butter, 1 cup powdered sugar, and the milk. Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. If necessary, stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, to make a frosting of spreading consistency. Spread frosting on tops of cookies and, if desired, garnish with additional lavender buds and thin strips of lemon peel.
Note: If frosted, place in single layer in an airtight container; cover. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or freeze unfrosted cookies for up to 3 months; thaw and frost.
Elana's Pantry also has a recipe for Gluten Free Lemon Lavender Cookies!
The Daily Offering to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and suffering of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sins, the reunion of all Christians; I offer them for the intentions of our Bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.