Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lavender Loveliness

~Lots of Lovely Lavender Ladies Laughing~
Last evening brought good friends and wafts of lavender west from Lancaster County all the way east to Chester County. Sisters Tina Sams and Maryanne Schwartz and their baskets, laden with lavender, meandered through the hills and valleys to get reacquainted with their still and save me from not having enough lavender for our class together! Tina was kind enough to allow me to play with her still for an entire month during which I became completely enchanted with the operation and uses of botanical hydrosols. Last evening however, the still was back in the hands of Tina and Maryanne who demonstrated the processing of lavender flowers. This culminated into a lovely collection of lavender hydrosol and more than a few drops of essential oil for their efforts! While the still simmered away during the evening and the sun began to set, we snuck off to savor some lavender infused treats to inspire us for the craft of lavender wand making. I have been playing around with fabric dyes recently and opted to try some hand dyed silk ribbon for the wand I made last night. Beautiful hues indeed, but it was a bit more challenging to weave with, given it's rather delicate nature. However, the finished product is simply yummy. All of this beautiful ribbon and barely enough lavender to harvest! Perhaps one a day will suffice this year. Thanks again to the 'Twisted Sisters' for the lavender delivery, the lavender demo and of course, the lavender laughs! Always a pleasure!Lavender Pistachio Biscotti Plan to make this a day or two in advance. The lavender smell/taste is more pronounced the next day!
*1/2 cup pistachio nuts . Shell and toast until slightly brown, rough chop when cool

*1 stick of butter softened

*3/4 cups sugar

*2 farm fresh eggs

*3 TB fresh dark lavender buds (Hidcote/Munstead) rough chopped

*2 + cups of whole wheat pastry flour

*1 1/2 tsp baking powder
*1 tsp vanilla extract

*1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream softened butter with sugar until well blended. Add lavender buds, vanilla and 2 eggs and beat again until frothy. In a big bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder. Blend well. Add to the creamed mixture and continue blending. Fold in nuts. Pull cookie batter out of the bowl with your hands. It will be fairly wet and sticky. Sprinkle a bit more flour on a cloth and knead into cookie dough until it is manageable. Don't overwork the dough! Easy does it! Form a long cookie log approx. 3 in wide and 12-14 long. Smooth out any cracks or holes. Bake the cookie log for 25 to 30 minutes. It should still show a finger indentation if pushed.
Let it cool completely and then slice across the log every half an inch or so. Spread out on the same cookie sheet and bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes. Turn off oven and allow cookies to cool in the oven. The biscotti will be crispy but not 'tooth breaking' hard. Store in a tin so they don't get affected by humidity.

1 comment:

Aunt Jenny said...

Oh my gosh...I am a biscotti fiend..and these look and sound awesome..I will make them for sure...soon!!!
Your lavender day looked like it was so fun! I love to see the pictures of your classes and fun..I just always wish I were alot closer!


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