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5/16/2012

Lavender Cookies, Ginger Beet Cake


Lavender flowers give wonderful flavor to cookies. Even people who say they don't like all that "herby stuff" like these. They're easy to make - it only takes minutes. I use the food processor and unless you're a cookie purist, you'd never know that I used shortcuts and simple methods. Here's the recipe.


Jim's Lavender Cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup additional sugar
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 3 Tablespoons dry lavender flowers in the food processor and pulse blend until the flowers are well chopped. Set aside.

Cream the butter and 1 cup of flour in the food processor until the sugar is well dissolved. Add the remaining ingredients, including the sugar-lavender mixture and pulse blend just until the dough is mixed.

Roll a heaping tablespoon full of the dough between your hands, then roll that in the reserved sugar and place about 2 inches apart on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake for 8-9 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn golden. Bake a minute longer if you like dryer cookies, or take out at the 8-9 min. mark for softer, chewier cookies.
Makes about 24 cookies.
Last year, in March, I was in Round Top, Texas for the herb festival at Festival Hill. They served Ginger Beet Cake - yes, made with beets, and it was a huge success. I asked for their permission to share the recipe here, and did so in last year's post. Here's my revised recipe with my own additions. This is a delicious cake and you will never guess it has beets in it!

Ginger Beet Cake. Not a crumb of this cake was left over!

Ginger Beet Cake
 You can make this cake ahead and freeze it for later. It requires no frosting,
just a dusting of powdered sugar if you wish, or leave that off and just
add whipped cream and a few bachelor's buttons!
1 15 oz. can of beets (not pickled, just plain, canned beets)
1 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup unbleached flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar (I use 1 1/2 cups granulated stevia or Truvia and 1/2 cup sugar)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons dry ginger
2 Tablespoons fresh grated ginger
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup nuts, chopped (I used pecans or walnuts)
3/4 cup coconut

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a food processor, empty the entire can of beets, juice and all. Blend it well. Combine the rest of the ingredients except for the chopped nuts, mixing well. Fold in the chopped nuts. Pour into a 9 x 13, oiled and floured baking pan. Bake until a knife inserted comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Let cool. Serve with real whipped cream. People were going back for seconds, saying this couldn't possibly have beets in it.
No Cool Whip for this, use real whipped cream!