Lavender White Chocolate Chip Cookies

When you think about New Mexican cuisine, lavender probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. The state is better known for its chile laden cuisine.

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And yet, on my recent trip to New Mexico, lavender played a crucial supporting role. Our whole trip was fabulous, from the art galleries of Santa Fe to the beautiful vistas of Taos and gypsum sand dunes down south. But one of my most treasured memories comes from our very first night of vacation, which we spent at a lavender farm called Los Poblanos.

Los Poblanos is on 25 acres of land just outside Albuquerque. It’s surrounded by gorgeous lavender fields, vegetable gardens and tons of beautiful foliage. Our room in the “Field” section looked out to growing lavender, fall leaves and beautiful mountains in the distance.

We were lucky to stumble on this place. Fittingly, I found it because of its reputation for amazing cuisine. I stumbled on their restaurant’s page first, then decided to book the night at their hotel, too. It was completely, totally worth it. Both our dinner and breakfast were fresh, flavorful, memorable meals. And of course, they make sure to work lavender into their menu. At dinner alone, I had a lavender margarita and lavender peach gelato!

IMG_4453My mind has been on lavender since that stay and I’ve been dreaming of these Lavender White Chocolate Chip Cookies. This is definitely one of my favorite recipes I’ve made in 2017. Lavender adds a floral hint to the dough, subtle but distinct. It pairs really well with white chocolate, and the sea salt on top is the perfect finishing touch.

Someday, I hope to make it back to Los Poblanos. Until then, I’ll just have to content myself with a plate of these cookies, and beautiful memories.

Lavender White Chocolate Cookies

Original recipe: Spache the Spatula. I’ve rewritten things a bit and added commentary.

Yield: ~24 cookies

Suggested equipment: Food processor

Total Time: ~45 min

Cook Time: ~12 min

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp culinary lavender (I bought mine at World Market)
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 6 tbsp vegetable shortening
  • 1 large egg at room temp
  • 1 extra large egg yolk, at room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips or chunks
  • Sea salt to sprinkle on top

Instructions

  1. Grab a small bowl, then combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Set that bowl aside
  2. Throw your sugar and lavender in your food processor. Process the mix for about 10-20 seconds to chop the lavender into really small pieces. Sugary “smoke” will start coming up out of the top of your processor as you grind the mixture together—totally normal!
  3. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, shortening and sugar-lavender mix on medium-high for about 3 minutes
  4. Add the egg and egg yolk, then beat for another 3 minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy
  5. Add your flour mixture, and beat on low until it’s all combined
  6. Stir in your chocolate by hand
  7. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper
  8. Scoop dough onto the sheets, about an inch apart
  9. Preheat your oven to 375F. While it’s preheating, throw your cookie sheets in the freezer so the dough can firm up a bit
  10. Once the oven is ready, start baking sheets of cookies! Bake about 11-13 minutes (mine took 12). They’ll look a little undone, but will set as they cool
  11. Throw the cookie sheets on a cooling rack, and immediately sprinkle them with sea salt
  12. Cool the cookies on their sheets for about 10 minutes, then move the cookies straight to a rack to finish cooling

 

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Web-Hopping vol. 26

It’s been a while since I did a web-hopping post! That doesn’t mean my actual web-hopping stopped, though. I add dozens of recipes to my “must bake” list every week. Right now, I’m all about fall flavors. From pumpkin to zucchini—I’ll take them all.

Apples are particularly top of mind for me this week, because friends are starting to post their apple picking pictures. I love apple picking, and used to go every year when I lived in the midwest. It’s a tad harder when you live in San Francisco and don’t own a car…but I’m sure I can make it happen!

In the meantime, I plan on scooping up tons of apples from my local markets. Here are the six apple recipes I’m most excited to try this year, and few old favorites.

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Pretzels from Baked by Rachel

Apple and cheddar soft pretzels: I’ll be honest: I get lazy about making yeasted recipes. But these have been on my list for years (literally) and maybe this will be the year I finally make them happen!

Caramel apple shortbread bars: I mean, what’s not to like? A buttery cookie-like base, topped by the classic combo of caramel and apple.

Apple cinnamon zucchini muffins: Zucchini makes for moist, flavorful baked goods so it’s the perfect solve for muffins—which are often too dry for my taste. And in this recipe, chunks of apple take things to an even better place.

 

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Snickerdoodles from Bob’s Red Mill

Apple pie-stuffed snickerdoodles: I mean: just look at that picture. You cook up apples like you’re gonna throw them in a pie…but instead, you throw them in the middle of snickerdoodles. And you all know how much I love a good stuffed cookie!

Apple shortcake with honey, cinnamon and lavender: Naturally, I’m intrigued by the lavender in here. I can’t quite imagine how it will taste…which makes the recipe super compelling! (Warning: this recipe is in Hebrew. If I ever make it, I’ll report back on whether translating the page works out!!!)

Ginger apple molasses cake: I’m a sucker for anything ginger or molasses, so clearly this is a must-make. I also love that it has mascarpone frosting!

And just in case you’re craving more: here’s a handy roundup of apple recipes I’ve shared with you in the past.

Web-Hopping vol. 25

I love holiday baking season. The gingerbread, the peppermint, the beautifully decorated cookies. There’s just so much to bake and taste!  I’ve already started digging into my holiday recipe collection. Some of these are really easy recipes… others, not so much. I know I can’t make it to everything on my list, but I’ve definitely set some priorities for where to start. Here are a few of the holiday baking recipes I’m most excited about this year, from complex desserts to easy breakfast treats.

Ginger apple molasses cake with mascarpone frosting: What an incredible flavor combo! This cake would be the perfect cake for a festive holiday meal. I just tried my first recipe from the Broma Bakery blog today and it was fabulous, so I’d definitely trust this cake recipe too.

Ginger cakes: The first time I tasted gingerbread was at Colonial Williamsburg, funnily enough. It was this soft, pillowy, cakey cookie and I’ve dreamt of it for years, but have never found gingerbread that comes close to that texture. So obviously I have to give this recipe a shot!

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From Cooking Classy

Funfetti shortbread bites: These adorable little cookies are ALL OVER Pinterest. I’m on Pinterest all the time for work (so tough, right?) and I just keep seeing these beauties pop out at me. So clearly they need to happen soon.

Fudgy mint brownies: I impulse bought mint Oreos the other day, and now I know what I’m going to do with them! Tossing them into brownie batter sounds awesome.

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From Baked in AZ

White chocolate peppermint crunch cookies: These would be fabulous for a cookie exchange! I love peppermint, and it goes so nicely with white chocolate.

Pumpkin gingerbread: I’ve actually made this before, but it’s been a few years so it is back on my list. Pumpkin and gingerbread go really nice together and this is a perfect breakfast treat.

Want more holiday recipe inspiration? Check out my Cookie Swap and Holiday Baking boards on Pinterest!

 

Web-Hopping vol. 24

It’s a gloomy weekend here in San Francisco. That’s quite alright by me, because I have nowhere to go, and nothing to do! My last couple months were pretty jam-packed, so I decided to lay low this weekend. My plans for the next couple days? Reading, writing, baking, repeat. In other words: it’s gonna be awesome.

Don’t worry, though. I’m not missing out on Halloween entirely. We had a super fun Halloween party yesterday at work and wore costumes all day. My team dressed up as characters from “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” in a tribute to Gene Wilder. It was loads of fun… but now I have the Oompa Loompa song stuck in my head!

img_2148After work, the whole company headed to a costume contest and Halloween bash. There were some creative nibbles, from Cookie Monster cupcakes to “mummy in a blanket” hot dogs and monster Rice Krispie treats. I’ve been eyeing those monsters on Pinterest for a while, so it was fun to see them come to life!

Now, on to the links! Here are a few favorite food-ish things from the past week:

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From the Butter Baking site

A new cake crush: How beautiful are these cakes? I stumbled on Butter Baking’s site the other day and fell in love with Natasha’s style. Natasha lives in Australia… any Australian readers want to take one for the team, and order a custom cake?

Cream cheese Funfetti bars: The NYT did an awesome piece on Funfetti a couple days ago so I have sprinkles on my mind. Fun fact: Pinterest users ages 25-34 have saved 260% more Funfetti ideas this year! That’s a lotttttta Funfetti.

Apple monkey bread muffins: These easy muffins look like the perfect morning treat. I love that they use apple butter–it’s one of my favorite fall flavors! And since this recipe uses biscuit dough, you don’t even have to worry about yeast.

img_2125Vampire donuts: These vampire donuts totally made my Wednesday morning. Sitting near the marketing team has its perks! They had some leftover supplies, so we all got to make our own spooky treats.

Cherry lime gooey butter bars: I’m a huge fan of gooey butter cake, a St. Louis classic that doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Bakers Royale added an awesome fruity twist with this cherry-lime combo.

For many, many more recipe ideas, take a peek at my Pinterest boards.

Web-hopping vol. 24

It’s been a while since I wrote a Web-hopping post, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped adding to my recipe lists! I’m always scheming about baking experiments and I save new recipes pretty much daily. So many recipes, never enough time!

To reintroduce Web-hopping, let’s talk about my favorite baking season: fall. The apples! The pumpkins! The squash! It’s enough to get this baker giddy. In fact, I’ve already started amassing tons of recipes on a dedicated Pinterest board.

As a kid growing up in southern California, “fall” was more of a concept than a reality. It wasn’t until I moved to the Midwest that I truly understood the crisp feel of a fall day, the comfort of warm cider, the seasonal menus. Now that I’m back in California, fall is the season I miss most. Any time we have a crisp San Francisco morning, I flash back to my years in the Midwest and wish I could head down to the farmer’s market for some fresh pumpkin butter, hot cider and apples galore.

Even if I can’t have fall weather, I can certainly have fall flavors. Here are some of the frontrunners for my fall baking season:

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Apple Cinnamon Streusel Pull-Apart Bread from Girl Versus Dough

Apple Cinnamon Streusel Pull-Apart Bread: I love cinnamon streusel and I love soft, pillowy breads – so this recipe looks like a winner! I think I’ll bring this to work on a Monday, to make Monday morning just a little sweeter.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Salted Caramel Icing: These make me nostalgic for the brunch potlucks I used to host when I lived in Chicago. Sadly I don’t have the space to host friends for brunch anymore, but maybe I can convince a friend to host and bring all the goodies! I love this combo of pumpkin and caramel, and think the salted icing will add a special touch.

Roasted Butternut Squash Cornbread: Butternut squash adds a really unique flavor to baked goods. I’ve made butternut squash cupcakes in the past that were a huge hit. This year I want to incorporate squash into more types of treats, and this cornbread looks like a good place to start.

Apple Blondies: I’m digging the idea of apple chunks in a blondie. These look delightful, and they’re on my radar for fall party treats.

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Pumpkin Brookies from Crazy for Crust

Pumpkin Brookies: I adore a good combo dessert, and I’m really excited about this one! The bottom layer is a pumpkin blondie and the top layer is a brownie. TBD when I make these, but they’re definitely popping up in my kitchen at some point this fall!

Baked Apple Cake with Cinnamon Frosting: This recipe is written in German – but Google Translate can come to our rescue! I’ve made some apple cakes in the past and love how chunks of apple nestle into soft cake layers. This recipe looks especially delicious thanks to its cinnamon frosting.

Bonus round! Here are a few of my favorite fall-tinged recipes from previous years:

Web-Hopping vol. 23

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From Hearth’s website

I’m going to start off this edition of Web-Hopping by mentioning the goodness that is Brie en Croûte. Imagine you have baked Brie, but it in a more individually sized portion, with a buttery, flaky exterior. That, dear readers, is the Brie en Croûte pastry that I sampled at San Francisco coffee shop Hearth this weekend. Delicious Cowgirl Creamery cheese, enveloped in buttery pastry and sprinkled with a topping of sea salt. I can’t claim it was the healthiest breakfast ever but it sure was satisfying.

File_000I also stopped by the Dandelion Chocolate Factory and Cafe for dessert this weekend. I picked a simple chocolate chip cookie – not my usual strategy, but I had a really strong craving for this classic treat. I may have also had an ulterior motive… but you’ll have to stay tuned to find out what that was! My boyfriend picked up their take on s’mores: house-made graham cracker, a layer of delectable chocolate and a generous portion of marshmallow. They make all the components right there at the cafe.

Alright, enough about what I ate in real life this weekend – and on to the links!

Carrot Tahini Muffins: I am so intrigued. There is just no other way to put it. I loved using tahini in cupcakes, and now I’d love to see how it impacts other kinds of baked goods, too.

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Fun idea from Betty Crocker

Teddy at the Beach Cupcakes: Let’s be real – I’ll probably never make these. But they were on my Pinterest feed and they’re adorable, so here you are.

Mini Lime Cheesecakes with a Chocolate Crust: I love the idea of lime cheesecake! These look nicely dainty with a layer of lime curd-enhanced whipped cream on the top.

Citrus Croissant French Toast: Immediately added this to my list for whenever I actually bother to make plated breakfasts. A.k.a. whenever I get a bigger apartment and can host company again…

Web-Hopping vol. 22

Today is National Chocolate Chip Day. Is that a real holiday, you ask? Probably not… but I am more than happy to justify eating a lot of chocolate chips today. And I’m guessing you’re cool with the excuse, too. So, today’s round-up is full of chocolate chips! Here are some of the most drool-worthy chocolate chip links I’ve added to my “baking list” this week. I also plan to bake up some chocolate chip goodness later today… but haven’t actually decided what to make just yet! We have a bake-off at work tomorrow and I keep oscillating between trying to pick something I think will be a “crowd pleaser” vs. making something a little riskier. Stay tuned for how that one nets out…

In the meantime, here are some deliciously chocolate chip-y links for your Sunday drools.

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From Hugs and Cookies Xoxo

Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies: I’m not a huge cheesecake eater, but I do like cheesecake as a topping, filling, etc. I think these bars have just the right dose of cheesecake, stuffed into cookie bars.

S’mores Bars: I’m pretty obsessed with s’mores and have a really long list of bookmarked recipes that incorporate some combo of marshmallows/graham crackers/chocolate. I’m determined to make a ton of them this year.

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From Two Peas and their Pod

Mango Dark Chocolate Chunk Scones: Can’t wait to try these soon – I love fruit and chocolate together!

Orange Chocolate Chip Shortbread: Orange chocolate is one of my favorite fruit-chocolate combos, and this looks super easy. One of these days I just need to buy tons of oranges and knock off lots of the orange recipes on my list.

Peanut Butter Chip Shortbread: Yup, a second shortbread! I forget about shortbread and I should stop that – it’s so easy and satisfying.