Friday is my day off – off everything else, except this space. I wake up, have a slow breakfast with my son, pack all our bits and bobs to take to the kinder with us and walk to the train station to catch the magical train. That is the favourite part of the week for my son – catching a train! It’s only a few stops, but we don’t miss the opportunity – it is so special. We ride mostly in silence, my son in his own thoughts, occasionally turning to me with a glazed look, with reflection of the buildings that he has just seen through the window, still in his eyes and whispering; I love trains! To me, it’s magical just to look at him but I love trains as well, the way they are, speedy on the outside but slow when you let a magic be involved in your ride. Except this time, the moment we walked into the carriage I was distracted by the rather loud conversation of two businessmen. Dark suits and red ties would indicate an importance in their work routine, the way they spoke as well, except they were talking about sharks and snakes! You can imagine what kind of conversation those two predators, as a main characters could have and since I don’t like that kind of action I have tried to exclude myself from listening by transferring to different cities and same life situations. Would I hear this kind of conversation in the London Tube or the Paris Metro? The New York Subway maybe? No, I can not recall any similar situation. In New York people are actually really quiet on trains or if they talk, they talk to themselves. London and Paris, well tourists mostly, even on a such an early ride, but…
“Mama, mum, look, I really like this tower with a clock on it..looks like Big Ben! and the building behind has a roof that looks like a Pyramid…”Well, what can I say, trains are special because they can transfer us to a different places – all the time.
But the true highlight of my day had to be these cookies. They are special for many reasons, but one of them is that I make them with plain flour. I wanted lavender to dominate and plain flour is, well plain, so the first time I made them I decided to go that way and I haven’t changed that since. We all love them, my son had one yesterday before dinner “(mum I really don’t think they are too sweet, so I can have one before dinner, as an entrée you know – said my 5 year old and one, or maybe two, after).” They are not too sweet but very aromatic and seductive so once you have one you might have a problem stopping at that.
180 gr plain flour
50 gr rice flour
100 gr butter
small bunch of fresh lavender
70 gr raw caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
pinch of sea salt
1 vanilla pod, scraped
4 tablespoons rice milk
1 lemon zest
Heat oven to 150C and line baking tray with baking paper.
With these cookies there is a preparation that needs to be done in advance but it’s a very easy job. Melt butter at a low temperature with 4-5 lavender buds. Leave to cool and then transfer to the refrigerator for 2-3 hours minimum before use or it can be stored in the freezer and used when you need to.
Pulse flours, baking powder, salt, sugar, vanilla bean in a food processor. Add egg yolk, lavender butter, lemon zest and continue to pulse adding one by one spoon of rice milk. You should get very smooth and soft dough, easy to work with. Dust working bench with flour and roll dough into a round shape, 1.5 cm thick. Cut cookies with 3-4cm round cutter and before placing them onto a baking tray, roll them slightly again not being so precise in making perfectly round shapes. That is what I do especially when I have the help of one 5 year old boy and I like the not so perfectly round look we get. Of course you can roll the dough to 1 cm and cut your cookies the shape you like but that is also less fun.
Brush them with lightly beaten egg white and sprinkle with raw caster sugar and lavender mix. (I make this mix using a mortar and pestle, approximately 100 gr of sugar grinded with 4-5 lavender buds). Bake for 12-15 min. Cool on a cooling rack completely before transferring to a cookie jar.