Holiday Shortbread

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Today I baked my newest version of my lavender shortbread, a slight change up for the holiday.  I’ve added pure anise extract, orange zest, macadamia nuts, with our culinary lavender, the “Signature Blend”. I think it is extremely scrumptious, and a perfect compliment for ladies “High Tea”, or any party.  🙂

I also baked my traditional Italian Bread ,”Panettone”, that’s filled with gobs of chopped dates, golden raisins, dried cranberries, 2009 dehydrated pears, orange zest, chopped almonds, cashews, walnuts & macadamia nuts. This year I decided to make a natural, healthy Panettone bread, without the traditional candied fruit and citron, with all it’s added preservatives!! I baked several loaves, and wrapped them tightly, and stored them in the freezer for two weeks.  Well… all except one loaf, that my dear Joe had to indulge in! Me too!! There’s nothing like fresh baked bread, right out of the oven, with butter 🙂 !!!  The others will be given out as gifts to friends & family, right before Christmas. I like this kind of personal gift giving!  (Now I better get back to packing up web orders)

Happy December, and happy baking. Enjoy your holiday! Inhale deeply, and take time to relax!

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Holiday Lavender Shortbread

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) butter (no substitutes), room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

2 tbsp culinary lavender “Signature Blend”
1 tsp pure anise extract

¼ tsp orange zest

2/3 cup macadamia nuts (finely chopped)
2 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt

Lavender Powdered Sugar:

Seal 1 tbsp lavender in pint jar with a cup of pwd sugar for at least 1 day.

Cover baking sheets w/parchment paper. Cream together butter, sugar, lavender, anise extract, orange zest, and macadamia nuts, until fluffy (3min). Add flour, cornstarch, & salt; mix well. Divide dough in half; flatten & wrap in plastic. Chill until firm (To help flavors meld together, I like to store dough in the freezer for 1 week or more). On floured board, roll out dough 3/8” thick. Cut into 1 1/2” squares. Bake 1” apart; Prick squares w/fork several times. Bake in preheated oven 325’, 20-25 min. Cool slightly & sprinkle w/lavender sugar. Store in tin cookie boxes or sealed containers.

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