Well, my brother is now married and off for a week-long backpacking honeymoon. I have to admit, I felt a little lonely last night. We've been in constant contact for a month straight, and now that it's all over, I miss everyone. I am attempting to rest up before Andy and I head out to visit his family in Florida on Thursday. At that point the second round of wedding madness will begin, with an engagement party for us and a barrage of questions about date and location sure to follow.
Meanwhile, I am still gathering together the wealth of memories, impressions and ideas from the weekend. I think the last three days passed almost as quickly for me as they did for the bride and groom, but along the way I reconnected with some very old and dear friends. The ceremony itself was wonderful and personal, with friends and family offering readings and music. The reception featured a fantastic live swing band and Will and Mary were out on the dance floor the whole night.
The lavender shortbread was a big hit at the tea party shower. It went great with all of the teas and felt very festive and romantic. I first came across and tested a less traditional recipe that left me with delicate, pale, fine grained cookies that threatened to disintegrate at the first touch. Andy preferred them, but I wanted something a little heartier, so I ended up just folding a heaping teaspoon of lavender into a classic shortbread recipe - with excellent results.
-- Lavender Shortbread
*1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
*1/4 cup rice flour or corn starch
*2/3 cup sugar
*16 tbs (0r 2 sticks) unsalted butter
*1/4 tsp salt
*1 tsp lavender flowers
*1 tbs turbinado sugar
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Line a 9 inch spring-form pan with parchment and set aside.
2. Process the sugar for about 30 seconds in a food processor then add the flours and salt and mix until combined. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch cubes and stir into the flour, then mix for several minutes until the dough is pale yellow and has formed damp crumbs. Stir in lavender flowers.
3. Press the mixture into the pan and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, then place shortbread in the oven. Immediately reduce the temperature to 300 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes.
4. Remove shortbread from oven and score, dividing into 16 pieces. Use a skewer or the tines of a fork to make a decorative pattern on the cookies. Return shortbread to the oven and continue baking for another 40 minutes. Cut the finished cookies into wedges. Wrap well and store for up to a week.