The nice people at Sainsbury’s recently sent me some of their new Taste the Difference infused sugars to try. Available in lavender, vanilla and cinnamon they are designed to replace standard sugars in recipes. I’ve infused sugar with vanilla and cinnamon, myself, in the past but never lavender so I was eager to try this one out.
Shortbread was the obvious easy to make choice and so I fired up the oven and got to baking. The sugars are very fragrant and I was a little unsure about whether or not I should replace all the sugar with the lavender infused version or just mix it 50/50.
In the end I decide to just go for it and substituted it 100%. Despite the incredibly strong aroma of lavender the cookies are actually very subtle in taste and the lavender is not at all over powering. The flavour builds as you eat and you get a lovely lingering, but gentle lavender taste left after the biscuit is finished.
I took half the batch I made into the office the next day and all my colleagues loved them and want me to make more. The rest have been happily devoured by myself and MrsA.
The next challenge is what to bake with the others. I’m thinking glazed buns for the cinnamon sugar and doughnuts for the vanilla. If you have any better ideas let me know in the comment section below and I might just give your idea a go.
Here’s the recipe I used for the Lavender Infused Shortbreads -
- 500g (2 packs) softened, salted butter
- 200g Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Lavender Infused Sugar
- 500g plain flour
- 250g rice flour
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F
- In a large bowl and using either a hand or electric whisk, cream together the sugar and the butter
- In small batches sift in the plain and rice flour mixing thoroughly between batches until it binds together.
- Flour your hands and knead gently until smooth but do not over-work.
- Wrap the dough in cling film and put in the fridge for about half and hour. This will make it easier to roll.
- After about 30 minutes remove the dough from the fridge and discard the cling film.
- On a well floured surface roll the dough out until it is about 6 or 7mm (1/4 inch) thick.
- Using a suitably sized pastry cutter (mine was a 9cm scalloped edged) cut out your biscuits.
- Lay them on a baking tray(s) lined with a sheet of baking paper.
- Gather up any excess dough, re-roll it and cut more biscuits, maybe using smaller cutter as the dough gets used up.
- Place the tray(s) in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until they are just starting to turn golden.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle them with some more of the sugar and leave them for 10 minutes before carefully transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Eat the same day or store in an air tight container where they should last for a few days (but I bet they don't)!
Disclosure: The Lavender Infused Sugar in this recipe was supplied by Sainsbury, all other ingredients were bought by us.