What's her majesty, the Duchess of Cambridge, craving now that she is expecting the Royal Heir? Certainly NOT grilled cheese sandwiches and onion rings! Heavens no. Kate Middleton is craving something a little more refined though nearly as decadent: Lavender shortbread.
As it happens, her father-in-law Prince Charles has a company called Duchy Originals that reportedly produces the biscuits (though I don't see them on the website), so she's got a steady supply. But why lavender? Isn't that dangerous for a pregnancy?
Contrary to popular wisdom, lavender oil is not harmful during pregnancy. And the flowers are safe to use in small to moderate amounts as seasoning in food, too. On the other hand, higher doses, like in lavender teas, make some doctors nervous.
Lavender has been used to treat vomiting, loss of appetite, nausea, upset stomach -- you know, the symptoms poor Kate has been suffering with her severe morning sickness. It's also supposed to help with flatulence, not that the Duchess passes gas, ever. I'm just saying.
No doubt Kate's lavender intake is being carefully monitored by the palace doctors. And really, it's unlikely that those shortbread cookies are delivering much flower power anyway unless she's chowing down on whole boxes at a time. But if you've suddenly found yourself with a lavender shortbread craving, they couldn't be easier to make. Find "culinary" lavender at health food stores and some farmers' markets. I've made it, and pregnant or not, it's heavenly.
Lavender Shortbread Recipe
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup rice flour
- 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Cream butter with sugar. Sift together dry ingredients up to lavender, and then combine with butter, sugar, and lavender. If you can't find rice flour, just use a full cup of all-purpose flour.
- Roll out to 1/4-inch thick (square or circle) and score so you can cut the shortbread into pieces after baking.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until the edges turn golden brown. Cut into pieces while shortbread is still warm.
Have you ever tried lavender shortbread?
Image via cuttlefish/Flickr