Raya Cookies: Yuzu and Lavender Cookies

Another year has passed. Another Raya (Eid) will come again. And so, another cookie recipe. I will call this my Raya Cookies edition. I will make at least 1 cookie every Raya! Last year I made Kourabiedes. This year, its Yuzu and Lavender Cookies.
I was in the UK for 12 days earlier this month. While I was there in the Cotswolds, we stumbled upon a Lavender farm right in the middle of England! It was beautiful, and while I was there at the coffee shop I tried Lavender Cake, Lavender Scones, Lavender Jam, Lavender Tea, you name it. I bought a box of the culinary lavender to bring home (even though I had a jar of lavender sugar from Waitrose) but its better to have more than none, correct?
Yuzu is a citrus fruit. It’s from East Asia, particularly Japan. I found a small bottle in Waitrose during the recent trip. It is very fragrant, and I can’t really describe how it tastes like, other than its sharp and tart like a much stronger yet smoother lemon. If you don’t have access to yuzu, lemon juice would do fine too. Just add some lemon zest into the mixture too.
I promised my brother’s fiancee that I will write a cookie recipe specifically for her. So, Fla, this is for you!

Ingredients: (makes approx. 50-60 small cookies)

140g of unsalted butter, soft at room temperature (but not melted)
70g of icing sugar
A pinch of salt
2 tsps of yuzu juice (or lemon juice and zest, or essence)
40g of beaten eggs (approx. 1 large egg. Although its best to weigh the egg.)
40g of ground almonds
260g of pastry flour, sifted
1 tsp of culinary lavender, plus a bit extra for garnish.

What you will need:
Cling film
Baking mat
A baking tray, lined with parchment/baking mat

Spatula
A mixer: handheld or standalone. Or, a husband-shaped-whisk-wielding helper to help. (Elbow grease)
Rolling pin
Cookie cutters
Wire rack

Preparation:

1. Beat the butter, sugar, salt and yuzu juice (or lemon) with a mixer until just combined.
2. Add the eggs and beat well until thoroughly mixed.
3. Add the almonds and culinary lavender and mix well.
4. Add the flour, and fold in through completely with a spatula. Mix the dough, scraping the sides of the bowl off any bits stuck at the edges of the bowl gently, until you form a smooth dough.
5. Wrap the dough in clingfilm, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

6. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
7. Unwrap the dough and place it on a non-stick baking mat (the pink one in the picture below is from IKEA.). Cover with cling film and roll out the dough into a thickness of about 5 – 7mm. (This will prevent the dough from sticking onto your rolling-pin, and naturally, make cleaning up easier!)
8. Use any cookie cutter of your choice, and cut out. Arrange on a baking parchment/baking mat.
9. Continue until you have used up all of the dough. You may have to do this in 2-3 batches. Remember, you can always wrap the dough in clingfilm and store it in the fridge while the previous batch is in the oven.
10. Garnish with more lavender. You can lightly press the lavender onto the cookies.
11. Bake in the oven until the edges start to get slightly golden. It usually takes about 15-20 minutes.
12. Remove from baking sheet to cool on a wire rack.
13. Eat.
14. You can store them in airtight containers. If you haven’t eaten all of them by the end of the day.
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