Each year, I experiment with Lilacs in various delicious recipes because I love this flower so much!
These cookies are as delicious as they are beautiful. Sweet, with a bitter aspect that balances out what I find to be typically too-sweet in baked goods. They most definitely capture the scent and flavor of lilacs well.
Tricks to the success of this recipe:
1) Planning ahead and making Lilac Sugar to use in the dough. All this involves is picking fresh lilacs about 3-4 days before you plan to make cookies. Layer blossoms and sugar in equal measure, layering to fill a jar. Cover with cheesecloth and shake each day. When the blossoms brown, pick them all out and store sugar in a dark cool place.
2) To keep the pressed blossoms on top looking vibrant without burning them, form the dough and cookies the day before you plan to actually bake them. This is because freezing the tray of formed unbaked cookies overnight will help with that.
Lilac Shortbread Cookies
1/2 cup Lilac Sugar
1 cup salted Butter, softened
1 cup fresh picked Lilac Blossoms
1.5 cups Baking Flour
1 tsp. Lemon Zest
Pressed Lilac Blossoms (this is optional but makes them look extra beautiful!)
Whip Lilac Sugar and Butter together to cream it nice and soft. Add in Flour, Zest, Lilac Blossoms. Mix the dough all up until everything is incorporated and the dough is...well, dough. Form the dough into a log of sorts, cover with parchment paper and refrigerate for an hour. After an hour, roll out the dough (you may need some flour so the dough doesn't stick to the rolling pin) to desired thickness- mine were about 1/4" thick. I would make them thicker in the future because they were quite fragile! Use a drinking glass or cookie cutter to form cookies. Lay cookies out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Gently place the pressed Lilac Blossoms on each cookie. Set unbaked tray of cookies into the freezer overnight. In the morning when ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350, then bake the frozen cookies for 10-12 minutes. Ta-da!