Prepare these cookies in advance and bake them up in a hurry whenever needed. Straight from the fridge to the oven, Lilac Lemon Cookies are delicious and pretty too! As an added bonus, these cookies can be rolled, wrapped, and frozen for up to three months! Then, when ready, thaw, slice, and bake!
I used to think that shortbread was shortbread, but little did I know years ago that there are many variations and flavours of shortbread. These Lemon Lilac Cookies are indeed prepared with a shortbread dough, but they have a bright citrus flavour, paired with the light, fresh fragrance of lilac petals. They are absolutely delicious!
The most common shortbreads are rolled and cut with cookie cutters and then decorated with royal icing. I’m not good with decorating cookies and cakes, so I take a simpler route. For instance, Stamped Shortbread Cookies are beautiful and no decorating skills are needed at all! Then there’s my Whipped Shortbread recipe. You don’t need to roll those at all. In fact, they’re so good that they are one of my most popular Christmas recipes.
Of course, we can’t forget about flavoured shortbreads too. I love these Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies and I can’t get enough of these Chocolate Drizzled Espresso Shortbread. Did you know there are also shortbread recipes that allow you to stuff them with candied fruits and cherries? Oh, yes, Dear Reader! I have just the recipe to prove it right here! Now, finally, I’m showing you a different type. And, to be honest, in terms of ease, I think these just might be my favourite type to prepare!
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INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR THIS RECIPE
You will need Lilac Infused Sugar to make these cookies. You can make the cookies with regular sugar, but the end result won’t be quite right. The cookies will still taste delicious, but it won’t have that strong, aromatic lilac scent and flavour I mentioned in the introduction. The following is a list of the ingredients needed to prepare this recipe. For exact amounts and measurements, refer to the printable recipe card located near the bottom of this post.
- Butter – I’m using salted butter. If you use unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt when you add in the flour. It is imperative that your butter is softened.
- Lilac Infused Sugar – Making your own lilac sugar is easy to do. I have the instructions right here. It does take five days to make lilac sugar, so you can use regular granulated sugar if you must. The scone will still be delicious, but will not be as flavourful nor as scented as it should be.
- Lilac Petals – Read the next section on how to collect and clean lilac petals.
- Lemon Zest – One lemon will give you plenty enough zest.
- Flour – I always use all-purpose flour, unless otherwise stated. I have not tested this recipe with other flour alternatives.
HOW TO GATHER LILACS
Use pruning sheers to snip clumps of lilacs from your tree. Fill your kitchen sink with cold water and dunk the lilac branches, one at a time. Gently shake the branch under the water and then lift it straight out. Do this several times. Transfer the branch and/or clump to a salad spinner and spin out the excess water. The lilacs may still be a bit damp, but they won’t be impossible to work with. Don’t be tempted to over wash and over spin in the salad spinner. Lilacs are delicate, so treat them as such.
Here are the suggestions that I have followed. These are suggestions that I have read over the past few years from others who have prepared lilacs to eat. First, only use lilac petals from a tree that you know 100% has not been sprayed or treated with chemicals. Secondly, pick petals from trees that are not close to busy streets or highways. Those petals will be dirty with gas and diesel residue.
Please use pruning shears. Don’t break the branches with your hands or saw at them with a knife. This will damage the tree and you will want the tree to stay healthy for years to come. Oh, it’s also best to harvest the lilacs in the morning before it gets too hot. The petals have more moisture content in the morning.
SEPARATING THE PETALS FROM THE STEMS
So, I know that lilacs look gorgeous spilling out of large vases. And, every year, I have at least two large vases filled with them. But, they are great for baking too! Once you have cut and washed your lilacs, now comes to tedious part. Removing the petals from the stems is certainly not hard work, but it’s tedious! This is how I do it.
With all of my washed lilac bunches in a large bowl, and a smaller bowl for collecting petals close by, I find a nice shady spot on our back deck. Next, I fetch a cold drink and get ready to harvest. Working with one bunch of lilacs at at time, hold the top of the petal and pull. The purplish-pink petal should release from the stem. The idea is to leave behind all traces of green. If you get a few bits of green, it won’t do any harm. But, too much will throw off the taste of your recipe.
This process is long and labourious. To make this recipe, you will need two cups of lilac petals. That doesn’t seem like much, but it takes some time. You should learn from my mistakes too, because the first time I did this, I did not sit in the shade. I ended up getting a sunburn! When is all is said and done, these Lemon Lilac Cookies are beautifully fragrant and sweet.
HOW TO MAKE LEMON LILAC COOKIES:
I love to make these cookies, not only because they are easy, but they’re also fun to make. Why is it that rolling cookie dough into a log is so satisfying? I think it stems from a love of playing with food when I was a kid! And, as you know, I love anything with lemon zest, so that’s always a bonus. Making these could not be easier. Let me tell you how to do it!
In a mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer to beat together the butter and the lilac sugar. Beat for 3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Next, add the flour. If you used unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt now too. With your beater on a low setting, beat the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture until well combined. Finally, add in the lilac petals and the lemon zest.
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Finally, turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper. Form the dough into a long log, about 45 centimeters or 18 inches in length. Roll the log in the parchment paper and then into plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour. Alternatively, you can refrigerate for 3-5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Next, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a silicone liner or with parchment paper and set it aside.
Remove the plastic wrap and parchment paper from the cookie log. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into one centimeter (3/8 inch) slices. Lay the slices onto the prepared baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom edge of the cookies have browned. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove and transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
Lord Byron’s Notes
If you want to put out a plate of cookies which will impress your guests and possibly make you look like a professional baker, try this! Dust half of the cookies with confectioner’s sugar and leave ther other half plain. Randomly place them on your cookie platter and sprinkle over some extra lilac petals. It looks gorgeous every single time!
STORING, PACKAGING, & FREEZING
When it comes to most cookies, they taste best at room temperature, but they don’t hold up well to being left out on your countertop for long periods of time. Cookies will stay fresh in a cookie jar or food-safe container with a lid for 3-5 days if left to sit on your kitchen countertop. You can store them in a food-safe container in your fridge. When you want one, two, or half a dozen, take them out of the container and place them in a single layer on a plate. Let them sit at room temperature for 5 minutes and they’re ready!
If you plan to freeze your Lemon Lilac Cookies, you certainly can! Once they are completely cooled, pile them into a clean, food-safe container. The container must be freezer friendly! You’ll want to ensure a very tight fitting lid too. I use these quite often when freezing baked goods. I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that freshness locked in!
You can freeze these cookies for up to three months. If you plan to give previously frozen cookies as a gift, I would lay them out onto a wire cooling rack to thaw completely. Once thawed, pile into cellophane bags and tie with a ribbon, or stack in a cookie tin/box.
Do You Like This Recipe?
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Lemon Lilac Cookies
- 1 cup salted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup lilac sugar https://www.lordbyronskitchen.com/lilac-infused-sugar/
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 cups lilac petals
- confectioner's sugar, optional
- In a mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer to beat together the butter and lilac sugar. Beat for 3 minutes or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Next, add the flour. If you used unsalted butter, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt now too. With your beater on a low setting, beat the dry ingredients into the butter and sugar mixture until well combined.
- Finally, add in the lemon zest and lilac petals. Use a wooden spoon to mix the zest and flowers into the cookie batter.
- Finally, turn the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper. Form the dough into a long log, about 45 centimeters or 18 inches in length.
- Roll the log in the parchment paper and then into plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Next, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with a silicone liner or with parchment paper and set it aside.
- Remove the plastic wrap and parchment paper from the cookie log. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into one centimeter or 3/8 inch slices.
- Lay the slices onto the prepared baking sheet about an inch apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottom edge of the cookies have browned. Remove from oven and allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove and transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling.
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