There are recipes I make that are inspired by my travels, like these delicious lavender cookies.
One of the things I most love about Mexico, is the unexpected when you are on a road trip. You never know what you may find on the way, things and places you never knew existed surprise and inspire you every time.
When we were looking for the mines of Santa Brigida in Mineral de Pozos, suddenly we came upon this sign:
And there was another one saying: All welcome! I didn’t need much convincing, when my husband asked me if I wanted him to follow the sign, I just answered, of course!
The property was breathtaking and when we got to the first building we were welcomed by its keepers, a nice Mexican couple who were gracious enough to show us around although we had just appeared out of nowhere unannounced.
They explained the property used to belong to an american lady who for personal reasons, decided to go back home to Texas. She sold the property to a Mexican businessman from Mexico City who was now trying to maintain it as a lavender farm and increase the plantation size and number of plants to make it profitable.
There was a small shop with lavender products and that was where I noticed a small box labelled as lavender for cooking and on a whim I bought it. I remembered I had come across a few recipes that asked for lavender so it seemed fate was trying to send me a message!
I can’t explain it but there was such a positive atmosphere around this place. The view of the mountains of Sierra Gorda, the eagles in the sky, the smell of lavender in the air, made this a memorable moment for us.
We came, when most of the latest lavender crop had been cut already and the new seedlings were being planted, but imagine this scenery and these colours with the wonderful blue and purple tones of a full bloom lavender plantation…
They showed us around the new plantation and the nursery where new plants are being multiplied to meet the needs of the farm.
And then we were shown the rooms where part of the lavender is dried.
During this tour my daughter was happily playing with their little son and then she saw horses and got all excited. Again they were kind enough to bring a horse closer to her which made her very happy.
The final gesture also touched me when I was offered a bunch of lavender to bring home. There is now a nice lavender fragrance in my kitchen which always reminds me of this day…
Which brings me to the Lavender Cookies!
It is a very easy recipe and the lavender gives it a very unique flavour. It is difficult to explain the taste of lavender, it tastes a bit like a cross between rosemary and mint flavours. It is a strong, bold, flavour so I reduced a bit the amount in the recipe but if you like stronger flavors than use a full tbsp instead of half. The cookies were crunchy, buttery with a sort of spicy bite at the end. They were a big success.
(adapted from a recipe of Mafalda Pinto Leite)
- 100 g/3.5 oz unsalted butter at room temperature
- 90 g/3.2 oz fine sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 160 g/5.6 oz all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tbsp lavender flowers (dry or fresh)
- Preheat the oven to 150ºC/300ºF. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
- In an electric mixer beat the butter and the sugar for 4 minutes until creamy and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute more.
- In a big bowl mix the flour, baking powder and lavender. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and fold in until incorporated.
- Shape the dough into small disks, you should be able to make 20 cookies. Place the disks on the baking trays and bake for 15 minutes or until they start to look golden. Let them cool down and enjoy!