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.
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!
My 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
- 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
- Grab a small bowl, then combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Set that bowl aside
- 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!
- Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, shortening and sugar-lavender mix on medium-high for about 3 minutes
- Add the egg and egg yolk, then beat for another 3 minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy
- Add your flour mixture, and beat on low until it’s all combined
- Stir in your chocolate by hand
- Line cookie sheets with parchment paper
- Scoop dough onto the sheets, about an inch apart
- Preheat your oven to 375F. While it’s preheating, throw your cookie sheets in the freezer so the dough can firm up a bit
- 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
- Throw the cookie sheets on a cooling rack, and immediately sprinkle them with sea salt
- Cool the cookies on their sheets for about 10 minutes, then move the cookies straight to a rack to finish cooling