Victorian Lavender Cookies with Rose Water Icing

My niece is turning 12 and my family is throwing a party for her. I wanted to make something for the party that is sweet but fit for the developing sophisticated taste of my niece. What can be more girly than using floral? And not just any floral, but ones that are girly colored as well: lavender and rose.

The above picture is the final product taken with a lavender plant and a single pink rose, none of which were used in the cookies. They were used as a dramatic effect for pictures. And yup, I drew her name in the cookies.

¼ cup butter, softened to room temperature
½ cup sugar
1 egg
½ tsp dried lavender, finely chopped
¼ tsp lavender extract
¾ cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
purple food coloring (1 drop of blue, 2 drops of red)

1 cup powdered sugar
2 ¾ tsp water
¼ tsp rose extract
1/8 tsp red food coloring

The original recipe calls for 3 ¼ tsp of actual rose water for the icing. Making homemade rose water is too involved and I want to keep the recipe simple. So I substituted that with rose extract. Extracts are very intense flavorings and should be used in small amounts. I guessed that I probably needed only ¼ tsp of rose extract to equal the flavor of 3 ¼ tsp of rose water.

Ok, I couldn’t resist, I had to start by taking a picture of the rose hidden among the lavender.

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

While preheating the oven, I start off by chopping up my dried lavender. The original recipe called for crushed fresh lavender. Going back, I think I should have used the fresh lavender instead since it is softer and probably would have been a better edible experience for the cookie.

This is how it looks after being finely chopped. Almost powdery, since I don’t want big chunks of lavender in the cookie.

Then I creamed the butter and sugar together. Then added the egg, lavender, flour, baking powder and salt. At this point, I tasted the batter and it didn’t really taste like anything at all. Not even lavender.

Extract to the rescue! This wasn’t part of the original recipe. I wanted to give more lavender taste to the cookie.

Food coloring also wasn’t in the original recipe. The color of the batter was a pasty yellow. I wanted to match the color of the main ingredient, purple. So I looked up the trusty color wheel ( and see how to make purple. Here, I am using a paste rather than liquid because paste will not change the consistency of whatever you are putting it in. Liquid tends to water things down.

A few drops of the food coloring made my batter deep purple.

Make 2 dozen plops of dough onto cookie sheets. Pop them into the oven for about 10 minutes

Ok, they are purple, but too purple. I needed some white color paste to lighten them up. Oh well, next time!

Now it’s time to make the icing while the cookies cool down.

Mix the powdered sugar, water, rose extract, and food coloring together and you get this nice pink icing. Almost matched the rose’s color.

I put the icing in a piping bag so I can carefully write out the letter onto the cookies. The numbers worked out great! I have 2 dozen cookies and her name is 6 letters long so I got 4 rows of cookies with her name on it.

Original recipe:

Verdict: The cookies were screaming lavender. The combination of dried lavender AND the extract was a bit overpowering. Next time I’ll tone down the extract because the dried version of lavender was intense as it is. The cookie came out cakey. I wanted it a little crispy so I left it on the baking sheet after removing from the oven. But perhaps I removed the cookies too early. I am guessing probably 13 minutes would have been a good time. Some people description was that they felt they were eating flowers..hehe

– Max


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